CYGNSS Mission

CYGNSS launch and early orbit ops.

Discovery Canada put together this nice overview of the CYGNSS mission launch and early on-obit operations for their Mighty Planes series.

GRAPHIC: The CYGNSS mission team is comprised of scientists from the University of Michigan, Southwest Research Institute, Surrey Satellite Technology, U.S., L.L.C.

Latest News

September 21, 2018

CYGNSS Public Science Data Release Version 2.1

Version 2.1 Science Data Records for CYGNSS are now available at the NASA PO.DAAC public data portal. This represents the second “post-provisional” release of the CYGNSS Science Data Record generated using calibrated and validated level 1 and 2 algorithms. All data users moving forward are advised to use this latest version for fundamental science and applied research activities. The Level 1 (L1) Science Data Record contains measurement of surface Normalized Bistatic Radar Cross Section. The Level 2 (L2) Science Data Record contains derived ocean surface wind speed and mean square slope (MSS). The Level 3 (L3) Science Data Record delivers hourly averaged wind speed and MSS provided on a 0.2x0.2 degree latitude by longitude equirectangular grid. Each L1, L2, and L3 file provides data covering up to a full 24-hour UTC day. The L1 data files are specific to one of the eight CYGNSS observatories. The L2 and L3 data files consist of an aggregation of data provided from all operating observatories for a given day.

Data users may now gain access to the data and learn more about the updates and improvements made from Version 2.0 to Version 2.1 by visiting the following dataset information pages:

  1. L1:
  2. L2:
  3. L3:


NASA’s Weather Prediction Project

The Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) aims to improve extreme weather prediction.

CYGNSS will use a constellation of eight small satellites carried to orbit on a single launch vehicle. In orbit, CYGNSS’s eight micro-satellite observatories will receive both direct and reflected signals from Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites. The direct signals pinpoint CYGNSS observatory positions, while the reflected signals respond to ocean surface roughness, from which wind speed is retrieved.

The mission will study the relationship between ocean surface properties, moist atmospheric thermodynamics, radiation and convective dynamics to determine how a tropical cyclone forms and whether or not it will strengthen, and if so by how much. This will advance forecasting and tracking methods.

CYGNSS data will enable scientists, for the first time, to probe key air-sea interaction processes that take place near the inner core of the storms, which are rapidly changing and play large roles in the genesis and intensification of hurricanes.

The CYGNSS mission launched on December 15, 2016!

CYGNSS mission is comprised of 8 Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) spacecraft (S/C) that receive both direct and reflected signals from GPS satellites The CYGNSS mission is comprised of 8 Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) spacecraft (S/C) that receive both direct and reflected signals from GPS satellites.

CYGNSS is part of the
NASA Earth System Science Pathfinder program.

NASA Ames Research Center
University of Michigan
Southwest Research Institute of Texas
Surrey Satellite Technology of Colorado