CYGNSS Technology

CYGNSS Observatory

CYGNSS Satellites

The eight CYGNSS micro-satellites can pass over the ocean more frequently than one large satellite could. This allows the satellites to capture a detailed view of the ocean’s surface.

GRAPHIC: CYGNSS Terminology Key

The satellites are capable of measuring four simultaneous reflections, resulting in 32 wind measurements per second across the globe.

The observatory satellites are able to capture data from the inner core of tropical cyclones because the satellite signals can travel through extreme rainfall.

The number of satellites, their orbit altitudes and inclinations, and the alignment of the antennas are all optimized to provide unprecedented high temporal-resolution wind field imagery of tropical cyclone (TC) genesis, intensification and decay.

DDMI Instrument

Key Characteristics

Each CYGNSS Observatory includes a Delay Doppler Mapping Instrument consisting of a multi-channel GPS receiver, low gain zenith antennas and high gain nadir antenna.

Attitude is 3-axis stabilized with 2.1° (3σ) knowledge and 2.8° (3σ) control using horizon sensors, a magnetometer, pitch momentum wheel, and torque rods.

Observatory mass and power are estimated to be ~25 kg and ~38 watts.

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