NCEI (formerly NGDC)
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Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Film

The United States Air Force Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (OLS) is a polar orbiting meteorological sensor with two spectral bands (visible and thermal infrared) capable of acquiring global coverage on a daily basis at .27 km spatial resolution. Until 1992, there was no digital archive for DMSP-OLS data. Air Force meteorologists did their analysis using visible and thermal band film strips. The National Snow and Ice Data Center maintained an archive for OLS film from 1972-1992 through a cooperative institute with NOAA. In 1992, a digital archive for the OLS data was established at the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC). In 1996, NGDC had the film archive shipped to the Federal Records Center at the Denver Federal Center due to storage limitations.
Cite this dataset when used as a source.
Online Access
  • Online access is not available for this resource
Distribution Formats Format not available
    Distributor DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
    Dataset Point of Contact DMSP Data Manager
    DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
    303.497.3053
    ngdc.dmsp@noaa.gov
    Documentation links not available.
    Date(s)
    • publication: unknown
    Dataset Progress Status Complete
    Data Update Frequency: Not planned
    Purpose: The film is slowly decaying and the data are no longer readily accessible. Quantitative use of the data has always been limited due to the difficulties in converting to a digital format. Access to the data has been extremely limited.
    Use Limitations
    • Not distributed
    Originator(s)
    • DOD/USAF/SMC > Space and Missile Systems Center, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Department of Defense
    Publisher(s)
    • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
    Time Period: 1972-01-01 to 1992-01-01
    Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates:
    N: 90
    S: -90
    E: 180
    W: -180
    Spatial Coverage Map:
    Theme keywords
    • Earth Science > Atmosphere > Clouds
    • Earth Science > Biosphere > Ecological Dynamics > Fire Occurrence
    • Earth Science > Human Dimensions > Environmental Impacts
    • Earth Science > Spectral/Engineering > Infrared Wavelengths > Thermal Infrared
    • Earth Science > Spectral/Engineering > Visible Wavelengths
    • DMSP
    • Film
    • Nighttime Lights
    • OLS
    Data Center keywords
    • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
    • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
    Project keywords
    • ICSU-WDS > International Council for Science - World Data System
    Use Constraints
    • Use Constraints: none
    Access Constraints
    • Access Constraints: In House Only
    Fees Fee information not available.
    Lineage information for: repository
    Processing Steps
    • 2015-04-22T00:00:00 - NOAA created the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) by merging NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC), and National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), including the National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC), per the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, Public Law 113-235. NCEI launched publicly on April 22, 2015.
    Lineage information for: dataset
    Processor
    • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
    • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
    • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
    Processing Steps
    • The OLS film strips are scanned at or near 600 dpi (584 dpi for the Howtek scanner) on a high quality scanner with 8 bit quantitization (0-255). The film is illuminated from the opposite side of the scan head. The scanning is done on intact strips of film, up to 100 inches. Film longer than 100 inches may be cut and individually labeled prior to scanning. For expanded swath film the two strips of film will be separated, then labeled and scanned individually. TIFF files are converted to JPEG2000 (J2K) 8 bit images, file type jp2, with lossless compression. Once a box has cleared QC, the resulting jp2 images are written to a primary and backup LTO tape, into directories named based on box numbers (e.g. 007/400).
    • 2002-08-31T00:00:00 - The OLS film strips should be scanned at or near 600 dpi on a high quality scanner with 8 bit quantitization (0-255). The film should be illuminated from the opposite side of the scan head. The scanning will be done on strips of film that fit on the scanner bed. Film longer than the scanner bed may be cut and individually labeled prior to scanning. For expanded swath film the two strips of film will be separated, then labeled and scanned individually.TIFF files are converted to MrSid file type sid, with lossy compression. Once a box has cleared QC, the resulting sid images are written to a primary and backup LTO tape, into directories named based on box numbers (e.g. 007/306). TIFF files are converted to JPEG2000 (J2K) 8 bit images, file type jp2, with lossless compression. Once a box has cleared QC, the resulting jp2 images are written to a primary and backup CD, into directories named based on box numbers (e.g. 007/400).
    • MrSid files were decompressed into TIFF and recompressed into JPEG200 with a lossless compression.
    Source Datasets
    • Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Film
      • Description of Source: Source Contribution: Film Source Type: Film
      • Temporal extent used: 1999-01-01 to Present
    Lineage information for: Scope not available.
    Processing Steps
    • 1972-01-01T00:00:00 - Mission Start Date
    Acquisition Information (collection)
    Instrument
    • Operational Linescan System (OLS)
    Platform
    • Defense Meteorological Satellite Program
    Operation
    • Defense Meteorological Satellite Program
    Last Modified: 2015-09-18
    For questions about the information on this page, please email: ngdc.dmsp@noaa.gov