BackForward Satellite: CloudSat 

Satellite details
Acronym CloudSat
Full name CloudSat
Satellite Description
  • Single flight unit of the CloudSat programme.
  • Main missions: cloud profiling.
  • Formation-flying with Calipso, as part of the A-train
Mass at launch 995 kg Dry mass 848 kg
Power 700 W
Data access link
Data access information
  • Data available from CIRA (Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere).
Orbit Sunsynchronous orbit Altitude 689 km
ECT 13:30 asc


Space agency NASA
Status Operational
Details on Status
(as available)
  • Battery degraded since April 2011.
  • Orbit lowered from the original 705 km to 689 km on 23 February 2018. No longer in A-Train.
  • 2 reaction wheel failures on 27 Aug 2020
  • Return to daytime only operations on 16 Dec 2021 
Launch 28 Apr 2006 EOL ≥2025
Last update: 2022-09-26
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 CloudSat

Acronym Full name
CPR Cloud Profiling Radar for CloudSat
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
CPR active 94.05 GHz 0.36 MHz - W-band precipitation radar