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The quality and the precision of the satellite orbit is a critical component of the OSTM mission and provides the central reference frame for the altimeter data. The analysis of OSTM altimeter data and data from TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason-1 requires that the orbits for all three missions be in a consistent reference frame, and calculated with the best possible standards to minimize error and maximize the data return from the 15+ year time series, particularly with respect to the application offatcat:w77ytibdengvtponq4p3j65agu