The effects of any budget/program decisions made since the information was collected during 1997-98 are NOT reflected in the National Security Space Road Map (NSSRM).

(U) Geodetic/Geophysical Satellite (GEOSAT)

-Road Map
-Text Version

Overview (U):

(U) The Navy maintains a critical but relatively small space remote sensing program that conducts research and development on Navy-unique or mission critical sensors. These meteorological and oceanography (METOC) programs are complementary to the DMSP and NPOESS programs. The Navy also develops, launches and controls sensors and/or satellites when naval requirements cannot be satisfied by DMSP or civil satellite programs.

Description (U):

(U) The GEOdetic SATellite (GEOSAT) was a dedicated US Navy military oceanographic satellite consisting of a radar altimeter designed to obtain closely spaced, precise mapping of the earth's geoid over the ocean. GEOSAT featured an altimeter designed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) to measure the marine gravity field as accurately as possible. The Geodetic Mission lasted from March 1985 to September 1986, but because of the importance of the mission to the U.S. Navy, the first 18 months were classified and unavailable to the public. The Navy declassified the first set of GEOSAT data in 1990 that covered a doughnut-shaped area of ocean that surrounds Antarctica between 60 and 72 degrees south latitude. In 1992, the U.S. Navy declassified all Geodetic Mission (GM) radar altimeter data acquired by the GEOSAT satellite over oceanic regions south of 30 degrees South. The GEOSAT data for the entire global sea surface was declassified in July 1995.

(U) The shipboard satellite receiver/processor system, AN/SMQ-11, allows direct downlink of satellite imagery to 29 ships (CV(N)s, LHA, LHD, and Command Ships) and 33 shore Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC) facilities and detachments worldwide. The AN/SMQ-11 provides satellite data to the Tactical Environmental Support System (TESS) and other tactical systems for situational awareness.

User Impact (U):

(U) To be supplied.

Programmatics (U):

(U) Operational.

Images (U):

GEOSATGeodetic/Geophysical Satellite (GEOSAT)
This Table Is Unclassified.

Related Initiatives (U):
AN/SMQ-11AN/SMQ-11 Shipboard Receiving Terminal
Eastern RangeEastern Range
GEOSAT Follow-OnGeodetic/Geo-Physical Satellite Follow-on (GFO)
This Table Is Unclassified.

Related Requirements (U): None.

Related Categories (U):
Space SystemsSpace Systems
This Table Is Unclassified.

Road Map Placements (U):

This Table Is Unclassified.

Requirements, Funding and Additional Hotlinks (U):

(U) None.

Lead Office (U):


(U) Service Staff: CNO-N6/N096, Pentagon, Washington, DC
(U) Major Command: SPAWAR, San Diego, CA
(U) Program Management: PMW-185, SPAWAR, San Diego, CA

Point of Contact (U):

(U) National Security Space Road Map Team, NSSA, Open Phone: (703) 808-6040, DSN 898-6040.

Date Of Information (U):

(U) 07 August 1997


(U) For comments/suggestions contact: Office of the National Security Space Architect (NSSA), 571-432-1300.

(U) Road Map Production Date: 23 June 2001

The effects of any budget/program decisions made since the information was collected during 1997-98 are NOT reflected in the National Security Space Road Map (NSSRM).