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Defense Meteorological Satellite Goes To Work After Successful Turnover Operation

An artist's rendition of a DMSP satellite orbiting Earth.

An artist's rendition of a DMSP satellite orbiting Earth.

Los Angeles Air Force Base -- The Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Systems Group at the Space and Missile Systems Center has announced that DMSP satellite Flight 17, launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Nov. 4, has been turned over for operational use to the Air Force Weather Agency and other organizations for use worldwide.

Formal transfer of the satellite occurred on Dec.12 when Satellite Control Authority was given to the National Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellite Systems Integrated Program Office.

The handover marks the completion of the satellite bus and primary payload orbital checkout, testing, and calibration and gives Flight 17's Operational Linescan System the ability to provide the user with high resolution day and night imagery in the visible and infrared wavelengths to accurately map global cloud distribution.

"The early life success and operational handover of DMSP F-17 was a team effort between NOAA, the Air Force Weather Agency, the Defense Meteorological Satellite Group and our Lockheed-Martin and Northrop Grumman partners, said Col. Brad Smith, SMC's Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Systems Group Commander. "The on-time launch and handover of DMSP for operational use is a credit to the whole team."
The DMSP satellite's primary mission is to provide visual and infrared spectrum cloud cover information. This cloud data will be available for real time direct readout of local weather to mobile ground stations.

The satellite's secondary mission is to provide special sensor data for selected parameters of the earth environment. DMSP carries a payload of seven specialized sensors to accomplish this mission.

The Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the U.S. Air Force's center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems including six wings and three groups responsible for GPS, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control network, space based infrared systems, intercontinental ballistic missile systems and space situational awareness capabilities. SMC manages more than $60 billion in contracts, has an annual operating budget of $8.6 billion and employs more than 6,800 people worldwide.