BackForward Satellite: TROPICS 

Satellite details
Full name Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats
Satellite Description
  • The TROPICS constellation consists of 7 CubeSats, each about 0.3 m long and weighing just 3.9 kg.
  • The instrument is a MW scanning radiometer to measure temperature, humidity, precipitation and cloud properties.
  • The first flight unti will be launched in a sunsynchronous orbit, the other ones drifting into three separate orbital planes (two satellites/orbit), to enable the overall constellation to monitor changes in tropical cyclones as frequently as every 45 minutes in average.
Mass at launch Dry mass
Data access link
Data access information
  • Data distributed by the NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC) 
Orbit Drifting orbit Altitude 600 km
Inclination 30 °


Space agency NASA
Status Planned
Details on Status
(as available)
Launch ≥2022 EOL ≥2023
Last update: 2021-06-14
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 TROPICS

Acronym Full name
TMS TROPICS Millimeter-wave Sounder
Show instrument status and calibration