DMSP  SATELLITES DMSP   satellites   are   polar-orbiting   satellites managed by the Department of Defense that provide very high-resolution imagery. These satellites can provide  real-time  worldwide  support  to  operating forces for both shipboard and selected shore sites. Near real-time (stored) environmental imagery can also be provided by the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Command (FNMOC) at Monterey, California. Because imagery from DMSP satellites is encrypted  for  transmission,  special  processing equipment is required for download. Each direct transmission received from DMSP contains  two  channels,  visible  and  infrared.  The channels are transmitted so that one channel will provide "fine" data (0.56 km resolution) and the other will  provide  "smooth"  data  (2.7  km  resolution). Unique sensors aboard DMSP satellites allow for the collection  of  visual  imagery  at  night  by  using  lunar illumination.   The   determination   of   channel assignment is made by the Air Force Weather Agency located at Offutt AFB, Nebraska. DMSP  satellites  also  have  a  special  passive microwave sensor known as a SSM/I (Special Sensor Microwave/Imager). The  SSM/I  measures  thermal energy emitted and reflected by the earth’s surface and atmosphere by using the microwave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. SSM/I data is particularly useful in water vapor and sea ice analysis. In addition, wind speeds over ocean areas can be estimated by evaluating  the  brightness  temperatures  of  the  white caps of the waves. DMSP satellites are launched as "F" series satellites (F-12, F-13, etc.). A  few  satellites  are  equipped  with  a  high- frequency radar device known as a scatterometer. A The   WWW   Global   Observation   System scatterometer  measures  reflected  microwave  signals from ocean waves. This data is then used to estimate low-level  wind  speed  and  direction  over  data  sparse ocean areas. Scatterometry data is available from FNMOC. FOREIGN  SATELLITES Several   other   countries   also   support   active meteorological  satellite  programs.  China  operates  a geostationary satellite called the Fengyun. Russia has Meteor  polar-orbiting  satellites  and  GOMS geostationary satellites in service. They also support a joint  project  with  India  that  has  a  geostationary satellite—the  INSAT,  in place over the Indian Ocean. Japan supports a geostationary satellite called the GMS over the western Pacific Ocean. In Western Europe, several nations jointly support the European Space Agency   (ESA).   ESA   maintains   a   geostationary meteorological  satellite  called  METEOSAT  in  place over the Mediterranean region. Figure 1-9 shows the global-scale   monitoring   program   of   the   World Weather  Watch  Global  Observation  System. New  satellites  are  routinely  placed  in  orbit  to replace older satellites as they wear out and fail. Each new satellite usually incorporates new technology and may provide slightly higher image resolution or an entirely new type of sensor. As you read this, the satellites just mentioned may be out of service and replaced by newer models. Information  concerning  the  operational  status  of all environmental satellites is available via the Internet at the NOAASIS world wide web site operated by NOAA/NESDIS. This site provides updated position data for geostationary satellites as well as tracking information  bulletins  for  polar-orbiting  satellites.  The AGM3f109 Figure 1-9.—The World Weather Watch Global Observation System. 1-8


 


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