The joint US/French Jason-1 satellite altimeter mission, launched from the Vandenberg Air Force Base on December 7, 2001,
continues the time series of centimeter-level ocean topography observations as the follow-on to the highly successful T/P
radar altimeter satellite. Orbit error especially the radial orbit error is a major component in the overall budget of all
altimeter satellite missions, in ... [Show full abstract] order to continue the T/P standard of observations. Jason-1 has a radial orbit error budget
requirement of 2.5 cm. In this work, two cycles (December 19, 2002 to January 7, 2003) of the Jason-1 on-board GPS data were
processed using the zero-difference (ZD) dynamic precise orbit determination (POD) technique. The resulting Jason-1 orbit
accuracy was assessed by comparison with the precise orbit ephemeris (POE) produced by JPL, orbit overlaps and SLR residuals.
These evaluations indicate that the RMS radial accuracy is in the range of 1–2 cm.