BackForward Satellite Programme: Community Initiative for Continuing Earth Radio Occultation 

Programme details
Programme description
  • Constellation of satellites for radio occultation sounding.
  • Commercial programme implemented by GeoOptics, Pasadena, CA, USA.  Data may be purchased by NOAA.
  • The platforms are actively stabilised over 3 axes.
  • The design life time is 7 years for individual satellites, undetermined for the full constellation.
  • The replacement policy is based on launching a new satellite cluster before the status of the constellation is unacceptably degraded, taking advantage of launch opportunities.
  • The orbit heights, ranging from 500 to 600 km, and inclinations, are determined by the launch opportunity.
  • An improved version of the satellites (CICERO-2) supports polarimetric radio occultation (RO) and the use of Advanced GNSS Reflectometry (GNSS-R) has been developed.
  • See detailed description at
Data circulation
  • The data are made available by GeoOptics, Pasadena, CA, USA, on a commercial basis.
Agencies GeoOptics
Programme lifetime 2017 - 2035
Associated satellites and instruments

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