US: Surrey Satellite Technology’s Space GNSS Receiver Remote Sensing Instrument (SGR-ReSI) is the primary payload onboard NASA’s CYGNSS constellation, launched on Thursday. The Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) mission is part of the NASA Earth System Science Pathfinder Program that aims to improve extreme weather prediction by studying how tropical cyclones form.
The CYGNSS space segment consists of a constellation of eight microsatellites, each carrying the Surrey SGR-ReSI as the observatory payload in the form of a delay-Doppler mapping instrument (DDMI). Making use of reflected global positioning signals, the DDMI collects ocean surface roughness data using a technique called GNSS reflectometry, providing CYGNSS with a new method for looking inside hurricanes. Wind speed will be estimated from this reflectometry data.
Dr. Clare Martin, vice president of programs at Surrey Satellite Technology US, commented, “At the end of last year, we delivered the SGR-ReSI flight models, low-noise amplifiers, and antennas to Southwest Research Institute for final integration into the CYGNSS observatories—marking a significant hardware shipment out of our Englewood, Colorado, manufacturing facility. All of us at Surrey are proud that our instrument is playing an integral role in this mission, and we will watch with great interest as the satellites are put to work.”
The CYGNSS team is made up of the University of Michigan Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Surrey Satellite Technology, and Sierra Nevada Corporation.
Surrey Satellite Technology demonstrated the concept of GNSS reflectometry for the first time on its UK-DMC mission launched in 2003, and subsequently developed the SGR-ReSI, which is currently flying on Surrey’s TechDemoSat-1 mission.