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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 National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) presently receives the space weather data stream from the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL). NGDC maintains 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.