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

April 27, 2020

CYGNSS data aids in fight against African locust outbreak

CYGNSS measurements are being used to help detect the breeding grounds for a major locust outbreak occurring in East Africa. Science team members at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, University of Alabama Huntsville, and UCAR are working with the US Agency for International Development and the United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization to develop a method for detecting the locations of the young locusts. Moist sub-surface soil conditions are identified by CYGNSS which support their eggs, and healthy vegetation is identified by MODIS NDVI which is necessary to sustain young locust development. If both are present at the same time and place, the probability of locusts being there increases and this provides advance warning for mitigation efforts to be deployed before they can fly.

For more information about this exciting new application, go here


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