BackForward Satellite: Aqua 

Satellite details
Acronym Aqua
Full name Earth Observation System - Aqua
Satellite Description
  • 2nd flight unit of the EOS programme.
  • Main mission: demonstration of advanced sensors for operational meteorology.
  • Substantial contribution to land and ocean observation, aerosol, atmospheric radiation.
Mass at launch 2934 kg Dry mass 2832 kg
Power 4860 W
Data access link
Data access information
  • All data available in real-time through X-band Direct Broadcast. More info at NASA Direct Readout Laboratory.
  • All data available off-line from EOSDIS.
Orbit Sunsynchronous orbit Altitude 705 km
ECT 13:30 asc


Space agency NASA
Status Operational
Details on Status
(as available)
Launch 04 May 2002 EOL ≥2023
Last update: 2022-01-13
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 Aqua

Acronym Full name
AIRS Atmospheric Infra-Red Sounder
AMSR-E Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS
AMSU-A Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit - A
CERES Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System
HSB Humidity Sounder for Brazil
MODIS Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer
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
AMSU-A passive 23.8 GHz 270 MHz V Water vapour channel
AMSU-A passive 31.4 GHz 180 MHz V Window channel
AMSU-A passive 50 GHz - 57.62 GHz 0 MHz H or V Oxygen band, 12 channels
AMSU-A passive 89 GHz 6000 MHz V Window channel
HSB passive 150 GHz 1000 MHz V Weak water vapour channel
HSB passive 175 GHz - 191.31 GHz 0 MHz V Water vapour band, 3 channels
AMSR-E passive 6.925 GHz 350 MHz H&V Window channel
AMSR-E passive 10.65 GHz 100 MHz H&V Window channel
AMSR-E passive 18.7 GHz 200 MHz H&V Window channel
AMSR-E passive 23.8 GHz 400 MHz H&V Water vapour channel
AMSR-E passive 36.5 GHz 1000 MHz H&V Window channel
AMSR-E passive 89 GHz 3000 MHz H&V Window channel