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Program: DMSP

Defense Meteorological Satellite Program

Military meteorology program operated by NOAA since may 1998 (previously the Air Force Space Command was in charge of the program). The technology was first tested by the AMS program. All DMSP satellites were built by RCA Astro Space, which is now Lockheed Martin Astro Space; based on the Tiros N bus.

On 1st June 1998 the control and maintenance of the satellites were transfered to NOAA in order to reduce costs.

The satellite are used for strategic and tactical weather prediction to aid the U.S. military in planning operations at sea, on land and in the air. The DMSP constellation comprises two spacecraft in near-polar orbits, C3 (command, control and communications), user terminals and weather centres. A reserve of four satellites is maintained for storage, functional testing, and upgrading. The spacecraft are shipped to Vandenberg for launch when requested by the Air Force.

DMSP 5D-2 are also named WS-1A is the US military.

5 DMSP B5D3 have been ordered

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