NCEI (formerly NGDC)
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Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) - Space Weather Sensors

The Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) maintains a constellation of sun-synchronous, near-polar orbiting satellites. The orbital period is 101 minutes and inclination is 99 degrees. The space weather sensors collect insitu observations from the near-Earth space environment to measure ionospheric plasma fluxes, densities, temperatures and velocities. The NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (formerly National Geophysical Data Center) presently receives the space weather data stream from the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL). The NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (formerly National Geophysical Data Center) maintain a publicly accessible archive and derived extensions of these data records. The DMSP SSJ/4/5 data provide a complete energy spectrum of the low energy particles that cause the aurora and other high altitude phenomena. The Special Sensor Magnetometer (SSM) measures geomagnetic fluctuations associated with geophysical phenomena (i.e., ionospheric currents flowing at high latitudes). The Special Sensor Ion Electron Scintillation (SSIES) instrument observes the ambient plasma by measuring 1) electron density and temperature; 2) ion density, temperature and drift velocity; and 3) scintillation at the DMSP orbital altitude.
Cite this dataset when used as a source.
Online Access
Distribution Formats
  • ASCII
Distributor DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, Department of Commerce
Dataset Point of Contact Redmon, Robert
DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, Department of Commerce
303-497-4331
ionosonde@noaa.gov
General Documentation
Date(s)
  • publication: 1982-01-01
Edition: First
Dataset Progress Status Under development
Data Update Frequency: Daily
Purpose: Aurora Specification and Research
Use Limitations
  • While every effort has been made to ensure that these data are accurate and reliable within the limits of the current state of the art, NOAA cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in the data, nor as a result of the failure of the data to function on a particular system. NOAA makes no warranty, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty.
Originator(s)
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Publisher(s)
  • 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
Time Period: 1975-04-01 to Present
Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates:
N: 90
S: -90
E: 180
W: -180
Spatial Coverage Map:
Theme keywords
  • EARTH SCIENCE > Sun-earth Interactions > Solar Activity
  • EARTH SCIENCE > Sun-earth Interactions > Ionosphere/Magnetosphere Particles > Electron Flux
  • Earth Science > Sun-earth Interactions > Ionosphere/Magnetosphere Particles
  • Earth Science > Sun-earth Interactions > Ionosphere/Magnetosphere Particles > Electron Flux
  • Earth Science > Sun-earth Interactions > Ionosphere/Magnetosphere Particles > Particle Density
  • Earth Science > Sun-earth Interactions > Ionosphere/Magnetosphere Particles > Particle Speed
  • Earth Science > Sun-earth Interactions > Ionosphere/Magnetosphere Particles > Particle Temperature
  • Earth Science > Sun-earth Interactions > Ionosphere/Magnetosphere Particles > Proton Flux
  • EARTH SCIENCE > ATMOSPHERE > CHARGED PARTICLES > Density
  • EARTH SCIENCE > ATMOSPHERE > CHARGED PARTICLES > Electron Flux
  • EARTH SCIENCE > ATMOSPHERE > CHARGED PARTICLES > Proton Flux
  • EARTH SCIENCE > ATMOSPHERE > CHARGED PARTICLES > Speed
  • EARTH SCIENCE > ATMOSPHERE > CHARGED PARTICLES > Temperature
  • EARTH SCIENCE > Sun-earth Interactions > Ionosphere/Magnetosphere Particles
  • Aurora
  • CHARGED PARTICLES
  • DMSP
  • Electrons
  • Ions
  • Polar Orbiters
  • Precipitating Particles
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
Place keywords
  • Global
Project keywords
  • ICSU-WDS > International Council for Science - World Data System
Use Constraints
  • Use Constraints: None
Access Constraints
  • Access Constraints: US Air Force
Fees
  • Free download
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: Scope not available.
Processing Steps
  • 1992-03-01T00:00:00 - Mission Start Date
Acquisition Information (collection)
Instrument
  • SSJ/4/5 (Precipitation Electron/Proton Spectrometer) Objective: Measurement of transfer energy, mass, and momentum of charged particles through the magnetosphere-ionosphere in the Earth's magnetic field. The instrument looks up toward the satellite zenith. - The SSJ/4 sensor consists of four electrostatic analyzers that record the flux of precipitating ions or electrons at 20 fixed energy channels between 30 eV and 30 keV. The curved plate detectors allow precipitating electrons and ions to enter through an aperture of about 20 x 10 (FWHM). Electrons and ions of the selected energy are deflected toward the target by an imposed electric field applied across the two plates. The two low energy detectors consist of 10 channels centered at 34, 49, 71, 101, 150, 218, 320, 460, 670, and 960 eV. The high energy detector measures particles in 10 channels centered at 1.0, 1.4, 2.1, 3.0, 4.4, 6.5, 9.5, 14.0, 20.5 and 29.5 KeV. Each detector integrates each channel for 0.09 s from high energy channel to low. A complete cycle is sampled each second. The primary sources of the particles precipitating into the upper atmosphere are the northern and southern auroral zones.
  • SSI/ES (Special Sensor Ionospheric Plasma Drift/Scintillation Monitor) Objective: Measurement of the ambient electron density and temperatures, the ambient ion density, and the average ion temperature and molecular weight at the DMSP orbital altitude. The instrument consists of an electron sensor (Langmuir probe) and an ion sensor mounted on a 2.5 meter boom. The ion sensor is a planar aperture, planar collector sensor oriented to face the spacecraft velocity vector at all times. In addition to the Langmuir probe and planar collector which make up the SSI/E, the SSI/ES has a plasma drift meter and a scintillation meter.
  • SSM (Special Sensor Magnetometer), a triaxial fluxgate magnetometer. The SSM measures geomagnetic fluctuations associated with solar geophysical phenomena (i.e., ionospheric currents flowing at high latitudes). In combination with the SSI/ES and the SSJ/4, the SSM provides heating and electron density profiles in the high-latitude ionosphere. SSM takes and reports 12 readings/s for the Y and Z axes. Only 10 readings of the 12 readings per second are reported for the X axis due to telemetry limitations. The SSM's axes are aligned with the spacecraft's axes where X is downward and aligned to local vertical within 0.01 degree, Y is parallel to the velocity vector for spacecraft with ascending node in the afternoon/evening sector, and Z is away from the solar panel and anti-parallel to the orbit normal vector.) The measurement range is A?65535 nT for each axis, with a one-bit resolution of 2 nT. Note: The magnetic field has three sources: 1) the magnetic field from the solid Earth, 2) the magnetic field from electrical currents flowing in the ionosphere and magnetosphere, and 3) the magnetic field from the spacecraft. Measurement of source 2 is the principal objective of the SSM, the measurement of source 1 is a secondary objective, and measurement of source 3 is a nuisance which is eliminated from the data as much as possible during data processing
Platform
  • Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F06
  • Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F07
  • Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F08
  • Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F09
  • Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F10
  • Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F11
  • Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F12 (DMSP 5D-2/F12)
  • Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F13 (DMSP 5D-2/F13)
  • Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F14
  • Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F15
  • Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F16
  • Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F17
  • Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F18
Operation
Last Modified: 2015-09-18
For questions about the information on this page, please email: ionosonde@noaa.gov