CYGNSS Technology

Microsatellites

CYGNSS uses a constellation of eight microsatellites to act as observatories, each carrying a Delay Doppler Mapping Instrument (DDMI). The observatories will use under 50 watts of power, less than a typical light bulb, and weigh less than 20 kg. In orbit, they deploy solar panels to reach the size of a full grown swan.

A benefit of using a constellation of microsatellites is that they will pass over the ocean more frequently than a single satellite would, resulting in a more detailed view of the ocean’s surface.



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