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Author Topic:   Defense Meteorological Satellite final piece(s)
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38444
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-18-2017 04:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Los Angeles Air Force Base release
First Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Director Receives Piece of Last Satellite

The Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) began in 1960 as a short term, 22-month program designed to support cloud-free photo reconnaissance. Nearly 60 years later, the DMSP constellation is still providing invaluable weather data to the military and civil community. This success is possible in no small part due the leadership of the first DMSP director, retired Air Force Colonel Tom Haig, now 96 years old. To thank him for his revolutionary work, the Space and Missile Systems Center's Remote Sensing Systems Directorate (RS) presented Haig with a sun sensor detector from the final DMSP satellite Aug. 9 in Madison, Wisconsin. The presentation recognized a true pioneer in the field of space-based environmental monitoring for his contributions to Air Force space and national defense.

Above: Dr. Stephen Pluntze, Remote Sensing Systems Directorate deputy director and former director of the Defense Weather Systems Directorate presents a sun sensor detector from the final DMSP satellite to retired Air Force Colonel Tom Haig. The colonel was the first DMSP director in 1961.

During the 1950s, Haig worked on balloon reconnaissance programs and later managed requirements for satellite ground support at the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division. After the National Reconnaissance Office established a meteorological satellite program in 1961, he was selected to create and manage the DMSP program. As the first DMSP director, his successes include obtaining weather information for reconnaissance missions during the Cuban Missile Crisis and providing DMSP data in support of tactical military operations during the Vietnam conflict. He retired from active duty in 1968 and his name was engraved in the Schriever Wall of Honor at Los Angeles Air Force Base in May 2015. Haig paved the way for the Remote Sensing Systems Directorate's mission today; to provide global, persistent infrared surveillance and environmental monitoring capabilities to our warfighters and the nation.

The opportunity to provide the first DMSP director with a piece of the last DMSP satellite was not one the Remote Sensing Systems Directorate was willing to pass up. Dr. Stephen Pluntze, RS deputy director and former director of the Defense Weather Systems Directorate traveled to Madison to personally present the DMSP's sun sensor detector to Col. Haig in front of colonel's friends and family.

"Tom literally started and was the first to lead DMSP, and I can think of no one better to have this piece of the final DMSP satellite" said Pluntze. "The incredible things our nation's environmental monitoring programs are able to achieve today are a direct result of the ground breaking work Tom did at the inception of the nation's space-based weather program."

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38444
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-15-2017 03:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Los Angeles Air Force Base release
Air Force Secretary unveils final DMSP satellite at SMC

With the help of Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson, the Space and Missile Systems Center today unveiled the final Defense Meteorological Support Program satellite, DMSP-20, for display at the Schriever Space Complex within the Gordon Conference Center.

"This display represents a nearly 60-year history of environmental monitoring success by a satellite constellation that continues to provide crucial weather information to our nation's leaders, civil users, and warfighters," said Wilson

Above: Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and Air Force Lt. Gen. John Thompson, commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center and Program Executive Officer for Space, pose for a photo with Air Force 2nd Lt Zachary Nuss, far left, and Dr. Steven Pluntze, far right, in front of a decommissioned Defense Meteorological Satellite Program 20 satellite during the Space and Missile Systems Center's lecture series, Airmen Everywhere, at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, Calif., Dec. 14, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Sarah Corrice)

DMSP got its start in 1961, when the National Reconnaissance Office established a meteorological satellite program to provide information on cloud cover over the Soviet Union for the once highly-classified Corona photographic reconnaissance satellites.

Retired Air Force Col. Thomas Haig, recently presented with a piece of the DMSP-20 satellite on Aug. 9, was selected to create and manage DMSP.

Although intended as an interim program, the highly successful DMSP was transferred to the Space Systems Division -- forerunner of today's SMC -- and launched its first satellite into low earth orbit on Aug. 23, 1962

In the intervening six decades, DMSP has had an impressive succession of successes. It provided the earliest tactical uses of space-based weather information and the world's first use of satellite imagery to support tactical military operations during the Vietnam conflict. The information DMSP provides has been crucial to the support of military operations ever since, from first Gulf War to real-time situational awareness for current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"But DMSP supports more than just military operations," explained Lt. Gen. John Thompson, SMC commander and Air Force program executive officer for space. "The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and various other civil and humanitarian organizations use DMSP imagery and data for weather forecasting. This includes numerous missions that rely on data from snow cover and tropical cyclone intensity to cloud temperatures and magnetic fields in space. Even NASA uses DMSP weather information to help plan future launches, as they did with launches stretching back to the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs."

Although the final DMSP satellite launched in 2014, the constellation as a whole will continue to provide data used to create weather forecast models and provide crucial weather information for the foreseeable future.

This includes DMSP-14, which was launched in 1997 and completed its historic 100,000th orbit around the Earth last summer.

"The fact that DMSP-14 is providing weather data 17 years past its designed mission life of three years is a testament to the craftsmanship of the satellite and the hard work of the government and contractor teams who continue to make the DMSP program a resounding success," said Dr. Stephen Pluntze, deputy director of SMC's Remote Sensing Systems Directorate and former director of the Defense Weather Systems Directorate.

The Space and Missile Systems Center was responsible for procuring DMSP satellites. The DMSP constellation is operated by a coalition of mission partners including NOAA's Office of Satellite and Product Operations and the 50th Operations Group Detachment 1, both located in Suitland, Maryland.

Backup command and control operations are conducted by the 6th Space Operations Squadron located at Schriever AFB, Colorado. Lockheed Martin Space Systems designed the spacecraft, and Northrop Grumman worked with the Air Force Research Laboratory to provide the sensors integrated onto the spacecraft.

SMC, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, California, is the U.S. Air Force Space Command's center of excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems. SMC's portfolio includes the Global Positioning System, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch enterprise, satellite control networks, remote sensing systems, and space situational awareness capabilities.

SkyMan1958
Member

Posts: 716
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 12-15-2017 06:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone know what will be (or is) taking over DMSP's place?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38444
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-15-2017 06:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As noted above, the constellation is still and is expected to remain in service:
Although the final DMSP satellite launched in 2014, the constellation as a whole will continue to provide data used to create weather forecast models and provide crucial weather information for the foreseeable future.

SkyMan1958
Member

Posts: 716
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 12-15-2017 11:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yeah, but these sort of satellites need years of lead time to design and build. I can't imagine the military wouldn't have weather satellites as a high priority on their list of national assets.

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