BackForward Satellite Programme: Environmental Satellite 

Programme details
Programme description
  • Single satellite programme, originating from the concept of a Polar Orbit Earth-Observation Mission (POEM) that evoved into two distinct missions: Envisat and the MetOp series.
  • ESA programme with part of the payload contributed by other space agencies in response to an Announcement of Opportunity.
  • The platform is actively stabilised over 3 axes.
  • The design life time of the satellite is 5 years.
  • Sunsynchronous orbit with ECT around 10:00.
  • See detailed description at
Data circulation
  • Global onboard storage of low-bit-rate instruments; downlink to the Central station of Kiruna.
  • Real-time transmission of high-resolution data (ASAR and full-resolution MERIS) via X-band to the regional stations of Kiruna, Fucino, Svalbard and Villafranca, or via the ARTEMIS data relay satellite.
  • Processing centres coordinated by the Payload Data Control Centre in Frascati, located in several Processing and Archiving Centres (PAC) hosted by national space agencies.
Agencies ESA
Programme lifetime 2002 - 2012
Associated satellites and instruments

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