The US Navy GFO (Geosat Follow On), is a 369 kg minisatellite based on the Techstar platform to carry on the mission of Geosat. It was launched on the 10th February 1998 on a Taurus-2210 from VAFB alongside two Orbcomm satellites, into a 789 × 881 km (779 × 790 km planned) 108 degree inclined orbit.
The missions follows the 1985 Johns Hopkins Applied Physics lab built Geosat mission. It carries a precise radar altimeter (<5 cm) to measure small changes in sea surface heights associated with ocean circulation. The altimeter was supplied by Raytheon. A microwave radiometer is also carried supplied by AIL systems Inc. The spacecraft has 96Mbytes of on-board storage, and will generate up to 126W orbit average power. Ball Aerospace built the spacecraft, which has a contractual mission lifetime of 5 years, a mission design lifetime of 8 years. The spacecraft cost was US$ 46m and the contract was awarded in 1992.
GFO operated for nearly 11 years until 2008. A follow-on mission, GFO-2, was planned to be launched in 2014, but procurement of the satellite was deferred until 2016.
|Type / Application:||Altimetry|
|Equipment:||Radio altimeter, microwave radiometer|
|Configuration:||BCP-600 (formerly called Techstar)|
|Power:||Solar array, batteries|
|Lifetime:||5 years planned, 10 years reached|
|Orbit:||775 km × 878 km, 108°|
|GFO||1998-007A||10.02.1998||Va 576E||Taurus-2210||with Orbcomm FM3, FM4, Celestis 03|