Credit: GeoOptics/OSM

CICERO (Community Initiative for Cellular Earth Remote Observation) is a constellation of 24+ satellites for radio occultation measurements of Earth’s atmosphere and surface remote sensing through backscattered signals from the GPS and Galileo satellite constellations. The system is operated by GeoOptics Inc. and Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems Inc. acts as the primary contractor for the 6 Unit CubeSats. CICERO satellites host CION instruments (CICERO Instrument for GNSS-RO) which perform GNSS-RO by sensing radio signals broadcast by GNSS satellites (GPS and Galileo) and measuring the phase delay due to refraction during occultation. Second-generation CICERO-2 satellites (two launched in 2022) carry an improved CION instrument, CION-2, which measures reflected signals from the sea surface and has a polarimetric capability, in addition to GNSS-RO. CION and CION-2 data produce high-accuracy profiles of atmospheric pressure, temperature, and moisture; 3D maps of the electron distribution in the ionosphere; and information on ocean and ice properties. The CICERO-2 satellite constellation are improved versions of the 1st generation CICERO satellites. GeoOptics creates the highest quality radio occultation (RO) weather data available today. The data is available for government, commercial, and research purposes. GeoOptics also develops new instruments to observe the Earth’s atmosphere, surface and subsurface. Founded and led by a team of scientists and engineers, the company focuses on finding answers to some of the most important questions facing the globe.

Satellite info

Nation: USA/Monaco
Company/operator: GeoOptics
Platform/configuration: 6U CubeSat
Mass: 10 kg
Orbit: 520 km - Low Earth Orbit (LEO)
  • Cion GPS radio occultation payload
Purpose: Demonstration of GPS radio occultation sensor that allows the measurement of global weather pattern with high accuracy.
Launch vehicles: Soyuz-2, PSLV-XL, Electron, Vega


GeoOptics satellites launch overview

Flight no. Date launch Rocket Launch base Orbit Satellites launched Patch Mission succes?
1 23/06/2017 PSLV-XL Satish Dhawan Space Centre
496 km x 515 km
  • CICERO 6
No patch


2 17/07/2017 Soyuz-2-1a Fregat Baikonur
586 km x 602 km
  • CICERO 1
  • CICERO 2
  • CICERO 3
No patch


3 12/01/2018 PSLV-XL Satish Dhawan Space Centre
493 km x 504 km
  • CICERO 7
No patch


4 11/11/2018

Launch Complex 1
(New Zealand)
490 km x 515 km
  • CICERO 10
No patch


5 19/11/2018 PSLV-CA Satish Dhawan Space Centre
477 km x 499 km
  • CICERO 8
No patch


6 03/09/2020 Vega Kourou
(French Guyana)
534 km x 537 km


7 25/05/2022

Cape Canaveral
  • CICERO-2 1
  • CICERO-2 2
No patch


OSM-1 CICERO satellite


Images: GeoOptics

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Kris Christiaens

This article was published by FutureSpaceFlight founder and chief editor Kris Christiaens. Kris Christiaens has been passionate and fascinated by spaceflight and space exploration all his life and has written hundreds of articles on space projects, the commercial space industry and space missions over the past 20 years for magazines, books and websites. In late 2021, he founded the website FutureSpaceFlight with the goal of promoting new space companies and commercial space projects and compiling news of these start-ups and companies on one website.