There are four altimetry satellites currently in service:
One satellite Jason-2- with a relatively short repeat cycle (10 days), able to observe the same spot on the ocean frequently but with relatively widely-spaced ground tracks (315 kilometres at the equator). Currently, Jason-2 is located on the former orbit of Topex/Poseidon (before 2002) and Jason-1 (before February 2009).
One satellite, Saral, on a 35-day repeat cycle, on the same ground-track as ERS-1&2 and Envisat (during its repetitive orbit, before 2010/10); it is complentary to Jason-2 ground tracks.
One satellite - Cryosat-2 - with an altimeter (Siral) ables to work with an interferometric mode, with a high orbit inclination of 92° to satisfy the scientific requirements for observing the poles and the ice sheets, and with an orbit non-sun-synchronous (commonly used for remote-sensing satellites).
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