BackForward Satellite Programme: Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats 

Programme details
Programme description
  • Programme in the framework of the US Earth Science Decadal Survey, addressing tropical cyclones.
  • Many partners involved: MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, MA (PI W.J. Blackwell), the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, several universities, and NOAA.
  • The platforms implementing the constellation are of the CubeSat class, stabilised over 3 axes.
  • The design life time of the satellites is 3 years.
  • Drifting orbits in low inclination (except for the first satellite, in sunsynchronous orbit).  The six units in drifting orbits will be launched in couple, into three orbital planes dephased by 120°.
  • Mission overview:
  • Detailed description at 
Data circulation
  • Data available from the Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC).
Agencies NASA
Programme lifetime 2021 - 2024
Associated satellites and instruments

Note: red tag => no longer operational , green tag => operational , blue tag => planned