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.
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Latest News

December 15, 2019

Happy Birthday, CYGNSS!

The eight-satellite constellation is celebrating three years on orbit!
CYGNSS  Principal Investigator Prof. Chris Ruf looks at what the mission has accomplished, and where it's going in a new blog post at NASA's Earth Observatory blog.

"CYGNSS was launched on December 15, 2016 at 13:27:21 UTC and today marks the completion of its third year on orbit. Much has happened in that time and the future looks very promising, with all eight microsatellites healthy and operating continuously in their nominal science data-taking mode. Year 1 was spent on engineering commissioning and initial ocean wind measurements. In year 2, the ocean wind retrievals were refined and characterized and investigations of observations over land began in earnest.

"This past year has seen progress on several fronts. An important refinement to the engineering calibration has been developed. Ocean wind measurements in tropical cyclones have been successfully introduced into numerical hurricane forecast models. And the ability to image inland waterbodies with high resolution has been leveraged to demonstrate two new measurement capabilities."

Read the full post here.

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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