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Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Satellite F8 Langley DAAC Source/Platform Document

Summary:

This document contains information about the DMSP F8 Satellite. The DMSP F8 satellite is a in a near circular, sun synchronous, polar orbit. The DMSP mission is to provide global visible and infrared cloud data and other specialized meteorological, oceanographic and solar-geophysical data in support of world wide Department of Defense (DoD) operations. A description of the mission is provided as is information about the spacecraft and its environment. The ground data system is briefly described.

Table of Contents:

  1. Platform or Data Collection Environment Overview
  2. Ground Segment Information
  3. References
  4. Glossary of Terms
  5. List of Acronyms
  6. Document Information

1. Platform or Data Collection Environment Overview:

Platform or Data Collection Environment Long Name, Platform Acronym:

Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Block 5D-2 Satellite F8, DMSP F8

Platform Introduction:

DMSP, originally known as the Defense System Applications Program (DSAP) and the Defense Acquistion and Processing Program (DAPP), is a long-term USAF effort in space to monitor the meteorological, oceanographic and solar-geophysical environment of the Earth in support of DoD operations. All spacecraft launched have had a tactical (direct readout) and a strategic (stored data) capacity. In December 1972, DMSP data was declassified and made available to the civil/scientific community. The USAF maintains an operational constellation of two near-polar, sun-synchronous satellites.

Collection Environment:

Satellite

Platform Program Management:

The DMSP program office is located at the Space Systems Division, Air Force Material Command, Los Angeles Air Force Station, Los Angeles, California 90009-2960. Funding is provided by the Department of Defense (DoD).

Platform Mission Objectives:

The DMSP mission is to provide global visible and infrared cloud data and other specialized meteorological, oceanographic and solar-geophysical data in support of world wide Department of Defense (DoD) operations.

Platform Parameters:

DMSP Satellite F8 was built by General Electric's Astro-Space Division (now part of Martin Marietta Astro Space). It was launched on June 19, 1987 from Vandenberg AFB, California using an Atlas E rocket. The spacecraft is 3.5 meters in length with a diameter of 1.2 meters with an on-orbit mass of 725 kilograms. It has a design lifetime of 30 months. Power is provided though a 9.29 sq-m solar cell panel. Attitude is controlled using momentum wheels and magnetic coils using a strap-down star sensor and gyros as the reference.

Coverage Information:

DMSP Satellite F8 is in a near circular, sun synchronous, polar orbit.

Attitude Characteristics:

Short term changes in attitude are measured using three orthogonal gyroscopes. A strap down star sensor is used to bound the effects of gyroscope drift. The desired attitude is computed based upon a star catalog and an ephemeris table uplinked to the spacecraft daily. Three-axis attitude control is maintained in the orbital configuration by automatic momentum exchange between three momentum wheels. Onboard magnetic coils provide controlled interaction with the earth's magnetic field to prevent the accumulation of wheel secular momentum. Operations of these coils is under control of the closed loop spacecraft attitude control system. Both the momentum wheels and gyroscopes are backed up by a fourth skewed unit for redundancy.

Data Collection System:

Data is transmitted in real time to tactical terminals world-wide. Data is also stored using on-board recorders for transmission to and processing by the Air Force Global Weather Central (AFGWC), Offutt AFB, Nebraska and the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC), Monterey, California. Both AFGWC and FNMOC relay the SSM/I, SSM/T and SSM/T2 data to the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information System (NESDIS). AFGWC also sends the entire data stream to the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC).

Communication Links:

DMSP uses S-band links at 1.024 Mbps for the tactical real time transmissions. Stored data are transmitted at 2.66 Mbps to receiving sites at

Data are then relayed at 3.072 Mbps via commercial geostationary communications satellite to AFGWC and FNMOC. Spacecraft commanding is done at L-band at a 2 Kbps rate.

List of Sensors/Instruments:

2. Ground Segment Information:

Tracking and Control:

DMSP satellite command and control is performed by the 6th Satellite Operations Group at Offutt AFB, Nebraska.

Data Acquisition and Processing:

Data is transmitted in real time to tactical terminals world-wide. Data is also stored using on-board recorders for transmission to and processing by the Air Force Global Weather Central (AFGWC), Offutt AFB, Nebraska and the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC), Monterey, California. Both AFGWC and FNMOC relay the SSM/I, SSM/T and SSM/T2 data to the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information System (NESDIS). AFGWC also sends the entire data stream to the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC).

Latitude Crossing Times:

Ascending Equatorial Crossing Time (Local Time):

3. References:

  1. L. Dubach, C. Ng, NSSDC's Compendium of Meteorlogical Space Programs, Satellites, and Experiements, March 1988.

  2. H.J. Kramer, Observation of the Earth and its Environment - Survey of Misions and Sensors, 2nd Edition, Springer-Verlag, ISBN: 3-540-578587, May 1994.

4. Glossary of Terms:

See the EOSDIS Glossary for a more general listing of terms related to the Earth Observing System project.

5. List of Acronyms:

AFB - Air Force Base
AFGWC - Air Force Global Weather Central
DMSP - Defense Meteorological Satellite Program
DoD - Department of Defense
FNMOC - United States Navy Fleet Numerical and Oceanography Center
NESDIS - National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service
NGDC - National Geophysical Data Center
OLS - Operational Linescan System
SSBX-M - Special Sensor Gamma Ray Particle Detector
SSIES - Special Sensor Ionospheric Plasma Drift/Scintillation Meter
SSJ/4 - Special Sensor Precipitating Plasma Monitor
SSM/I - Special Sensor Microwave Imager
USAF - United States Air Force
URL - Uniform Resource Locator

See the EOSDIS Acronyms for a more general listing of terms related to the Earth Observing System project.

6. Document Information:

Document Revision Date:
June 24, 1996; May 21, 1997; November 26, 1997
Document Review Date:
June 18, 1996
Document ID:
DMSP F-8 Platform Document
Document Curator:
Langley DAAC User and Data Services Office
Telephone: (757) 864-8656
FAX: (757) 864-8807
E-mail: larc-asdc-uds@lists.nasa.gov
Document URL:
http://eosweb.larc.nasa.gov/GUIDE/source_documents/dmsp_f8.html

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