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This paper describes the Ka-band altimetry payload and system that has been studied for several years by CNES, ALCATEL SPACE and some science laboratories. Altimetry is one of the major elements of the ocean observing system to be made sustainable through the GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems) and GMES (Global Monitoring of the Environment and Security) programs. A short review of some mission objectives to be fulfilled in terms of mesoscale oceanography in the frame of thedoi:10.3390/s6030208 fatcat:rpylptytsjf73eipczyxo37b5q