The SARAL/AltiKa project is a collaboration between France and India in the environment monitoring domain. On a platform developed by the indian space agency (ISRO), two independant payloads will be embarked, ARGOS-3 and AltiKa (+DORIS, +LRA), but their missions have the save objective: to promote the study of the environment from space.
ARGOS-3 is an element of the ARGOS system, dedicated to localisation, acquisition and distribution of environmental data.
AltiKa is an innovating Ka-band altimeter system, dedicated to accurate measurement of ocean surface topography.
The data processing is integrated to the CNES ground segment "SALP" (Système d'Altimétrie et de Localisation Précise), which already operates the altimetry missions Jason-1, Jason-2 and Cryosat2.
SARAL/AltiKa fly on the same orbit than ENVISAT, to ensure a continuity of altimetry observations in the long term. On the other hand, the local time of passage over the equator is different due to specific cover requirements for the ARGOS instruments constellation.