The SARAL/AltiKa satellite flies on the same ground-track as ENVISAT with a 501-orbit, 1002-pass, 35-day exact repeat cycle. Orbital characteristics and the equator crossing longitudes for

SARAL/AltiKa are given in orbit tables below.

At the beginning of the mission, the orbit was NOT exactly on the ENVISAT repetitive ground track. A deviation of the order of 2.5 km at high latitudes was observed. It has been corrected by several inclination manoeuvres performed by ISRO. The nominal ENVISAT repetitive ground has been reached only late October 2013.

A satellite orbit slowly decays due to air drag and has long-period variability because of the inhomogeneous gravity field of Earth, solar radiation pressure, and smaller forces. Periodic manoeuvres are required to keep the satellite in its orbit. The frequency of manoeuvres depends primarily on the solar flux as it affects the Earth’s atmosphere, and there are expected to be one manoeuvre (or series of manoeuvres) every 15 to 30 days.

Each orbit maintenance maneuver is performed using only one thrust to minimize impacts on the ground orbit solution. Orbit computation is optimized to minimize the orbit error during such periods. Science data are taken during orbit maintenance maneuvers and are distributed (an orbit state flag is provided in the products).