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DMSP User Segment Strategic Elements

The DMSP User Segment supports the users of DMSP satellite data. DMSP data is transmitted in realtime to tactical users or stored and transmitted once per orbit to strategic users. The strategic customers include Air Force Global Weather Central (AFGWC) at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska, and the Navy Fleet Numerical Oceanographic Center (FNOC) in Monterey, California. The tactical users of DMSP data include the Rapid Deployment Imagery Terminals (RDITs), the Mark IV series of transportable terminals, and the AN/SMQ-11 Shipboard Receiving Terminals.

DMSP Air Force Global Weather Central

Air Force Global Weather Central is the primary strategic customer of DMSP imagery and sensor data. DSMP data is received by the Data Reconstruction System at Site III (at AFGWC), where it is processed and forwarded to the Central Database computers and to the Satellite Data Handling System.

Auroral display

Auroral display over North America captured by DMSP F7.

DMSP Data Reconstruction System

The Data Reconstruction System at Site III receives DMSP data from 3.072 Mbps domestic satellite links. The DMSP data is processed to form 1.33 Mbps light and thermal data streams, which are forwarded directly to the Satellite Data Handling System. The image data is separated from the special sensor data before both are forwarded to the Central Database, where the imagery is incorporated into the Satellite Global Database (SGDB).

Satellite Data Handling System

Satellite Data Handling System Tropical Forecasting section.

Fleet Numerical Meteorology Oceanography Center

FNMOC is one of two primary weather centers of the Naval Oceanographic Command. FNMOC receives DMSP data with a subset of the Data Reconstruction System equipment. FNMOC systems utilize DMSP satellite data and conventional weather data to analyze and forecast atmospheric and oceanic conditions.

DMSP Satellite Data Handling System

Weather forecasters use the Satellite Data Handling System to generate weather products interactively. Weather products are generated using satellite imagery from Site III, SGDB data from the AFGWC Central Database, and conventional weather data using a variety of processing capabilities, including over 50 specialized meteorological processing functions. Weather products such as Tactical Decision Aids are generated and disseminated automatically.

Data Restruction System

Data Restruction System at Site III


The purpose of the CDFS II system is to meet the changing cloud analysis and forecast product requirements of national programs, and satisfy the need for more accurate cloud analyses and forecasts used to support combat operations and planning. The CDFS II will functionally replace the CDFS capabilities, which reside at the Air Force Global Weather Central (AFGWC). The Air Force will employ the CDFS II as an integral component of the hardware and software systems AFGWC uses to provide centralized weather products to US combat forces, Unified Commands, all AF and Army major commands, and national programs.

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Designed and Developed by

The Aerospace Corp.

John Bohlson, Leonard Daly, and Charles Simmons
The Aerospace Corporation
Last modified on July 03, 1997

Please send any questions or comments regarding this service or content to
DMSP WebMaster - James Dixon