BackForward Satellite Programme: European Remote-sensing Satellite 

Programme details
Programme description
  • Two-satellite programme, ERS-2 being the refurbished backup model of ERS-1.
  • ESA programme with contribution to the payload by other space agencies in response to an Announcement of Opportunity.
  • The platforms are actively stabilised over 3 axes.
  • The design life time of the satellite is 3 years.
  • Sunsynchronous orbit with ECT around 10:30.
  • The replacement policy is based on launching satellites in sequence, roughly 6 months before the expected end-of-life of a satellite.
  • See detailed description at
Data circulation
  • Global low-bit-rate instrument data downlinked to the Kiruna ground station after onboard storage.
  • Real-time transmission of high-resolution data (AMI-SAR) via X-band to the regional stations of Kiruna (Sweden), Fucino (Italy), Maspalomas (Spain) and Gatineau (Canada) and to a network of appointed national stations.
  • Several Processing and Archiving Facilities (PAF) hosted by national agencies, coordinated by the Payload Data Control Centre at ESA/ESRIN in Frascati (Italy).
Agencies ESA
Programme lifetime 1991 - 2011
Associated satellites and instruments

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