BackForward Satellite: SWOT 

Satellite details
Acronym SWOT
Full name Surface Water and Ocean Topography
WIGOS Station Identifier ---
Satellite Description
  • Single flight unit of the SWOT programme.
  • Main missions: ocean topography and waves, hydrology (inner land water).
  • Will survey at least 90% of the globe, studying Earth's lakes, rivers, reservoirs and oceans at least twice every 21 days. 
Mass at launch 2200 kg Dry mass
Data access link
Data access information
  • Both NASA JPL and CNES will have data centres.
  • Data at JPL PODAAC
  • Data also available at AVISO
Orbit Drifting orbit Altitude 891 km
Inclination 78 °


Space agency NASACNES
Status Operational
Details on Status
(as available)
  • In 21 day repeat orbit
  • 3 month Cal/Val phase after 3 month commissioning
Launch 16 Dec 2022 EOL ≥2026
Last update: 2023-07-10
Associated satellite programme and related satellites

Note: red tag: no longer operational , green tag: operational , blue tag : future

Satellite Payload

All known Instruments flying on SWOT

Acronym Full name
Poseidon-3C Poseidon-3C Altimeter
KaRIN Ka-band Radar Interferometer
MW radiometer Microwave radiometer
DORIS Doppler Orbitography and Radiopositioning Integrated by Satellite
LRA Laser Retroreflector Array
GPS GPS Receiver
Show instrument status and calibration
Satellite frequencies for Earth Observation, data transfer and platform communications and control
Earth observation MW frequencies
Service Sensing mode Frequency (GHz) Bandwidth (MHz) Polarisation Comments
Altimeter active 5.3 GHz 320 MHz - C-band radar altimeter
Altimeter active 13.575 GHz 320 MHz - Ku-band radar altimeter
KaRIN active 35.75 GHz 200 MHz - Ka-band radar altimeter
MW radiometer passive 18.7 GHz 200 MHz - Window channel (supporting altimeters)
MW radiometer passive 23.8 GHz 400 MHz - Water vapour channel (supporting altimeters)
MW radiometer passive 34 GHz 700 MHz - Window channel (supporting altimeters)