BackForward Satellite Programme: Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere & Climate 

Programme details
Programme description
  • Series of satellite constellations (6 satellites each) for radio occultation sounding.
  • Joint Taiwan-USA programme: the Taiwan NSPO responsible of development, system integration and operations; the US UCAR providing the platform, the payload and the launch; NOAA responsible of bridging with the meteorological community.
  • The platforms are actively stabilised over 3 axes.
  • The design life time is 5 years for individual satellites, 7 years until some satellite of the constellation survives.
  • The replacement policy is based on launching a new constellation before the status of the previous is unacceptably degraded.
  • The 6 satellites are launched at once in the same drifting orbit, then dephased by about 30° during a time interval over one year long.
  • See detailed description at
  • An additional satellite TRITON (FORMOSAT-7R) for GNSS-R measurements is planned to be launched in 2023.
Data circulation
  • Data are stored onboard and downlinked to stations in Fairbanks, Kiruna, Tromsø, Taiwan and other ones.
  • Acquisition, processing and archiving at the UCAR CDAAC (COSMIC Data Analysis and Archive Center) and the NSPO TACC (Taiwan Analysis Center for COSMIC).
  • Data input into the meteorological Global Telecommunication System by NOAA.
Programme lifetime 2006 - 2029
Associated satellites and instruments

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