BackForward Satellite Programme: Global Precipitation Measurement mission 

Programme details
Programme description
  • Constellation of a "core observatory" equipped with both active and passive MW sensors, and several "constellation satellites" equipped with passive MW, to provide follow-on to TRMM for measuring global precipitation.
  • The core observatory is a joint NASA/JAXA undertaking: NASA responsible of the platform, the passive MW radiometer and operations, JAXA responsible of the precipitation radar and the launch service.
  • The constellation satellites are provided by several MW-equipped satellites, e.g. Megha-Tropiques, as well as operational meteorological satellites.
  • The platforms are actively stabilised over 3 axes.
  • The design life time is 3 years for the core observatory, 5 years for the constellation satellites.
  • The satellites exploit drifting orbits: the core observatory with high-inclination, the constellation satellites with low-inclination for frequent observation of tropical regions.
  • See detailed description at
Data circulation
  • The data of the core observatory are transmitted through the TDRSS (Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System).  A NASA Mission Operations Center (MOC) conveys the data to a Precipitation Processing System (PPS) located at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC).
  • The data of the constellation satellites are stored onboard and downlinked to a network of S-band stations of the responsible agencies.
Programme lifetime 2014 - 2017
Associated satellites and instruments

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