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run by the department of defense
The DMSP program designs, builds, launches,
and maintains several near polar orbiting,
sun synchronous satellites monitoring the meteorological,
oceanographic, and solar-terrestrial
DMSP satellites are in a near polar, sun synchronous orbit
approximately 830 kilometers above the earth. Each
satellite crosses any point on the earth twice a day and has an orbital
period of about 101 minutes, thus providing complete
global coverage every six hours.
Each DMSP satellite monitors the atmospheric, oceanographic and
environment of the Earth.
[Image: hurricane close-up (69K)]
Image provided by: DMSP Homepage
These satellites have capabilities to zoom in close to atmospheric
phenomena (like hurricanes).
of DMSP satellites include the detection of: lightning, biomass burning,
aurora, snow, ice and even city lights.
[Image: city lights (27K)]
Image provided by:
The image above reveals where the lights are in the US when the
sun goes down.
The data from the DMSP satellites are received and used at operational
centers on a continual basis. The data are sent daily to the
Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) and
Solar Terrestrial Physics
Division (STPD) for creation of an archive.
Text Provided By:
DMSP at NGDC