Military Meteorology Space Systems

DMSP Overview

Since the mid-1960s, when the Department of Defense (DOD) initiated the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP), low-earth-orbiting satellites have provided the military with important environmental information.

The DMSP satellites see such environmental features as clouds, bodies of water, snow, fire, and pollution in the visual and infrared spectra. Scanning radiometers record information that can help determine cloud type and height, land and surface water temperatures, water currents, ocean surface features, ice, and snow. Communicated to ground-based terminals, the data is processed, interpreted by meteorologists, and ultimately used in planning and conducting U.S. military operations worldwide.

Program History and Evolution
An Overview of the System
The DMSP Space Segment
The DMSP Operational Concept
The C3S Resources
Narrowband Communications Cababilities
MPSOC Installation
User Segment Strategic Elements
Image Processing
Air Force Global Weather Central (AFGWC)
Data Reconstruction System
Satellite Data Handling System
Fleet Numerical Meteorology Oceanography Center (FNMOC)
Tactical Terminals
Mark IV
AN/SMQ-11 Shipboard Receiving Terminal
Small Tactical Terminal
Combination of Light and Thermal Data
SSM/I Significantly Improves Forecaster Capability

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