US Air Force Schedules Next DMSP Satellite Launch

DMSP images of Auroral bands circling north of Scandinavia

DMSP images of Auroral bands circling north of Scandinavia. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

[Via Satellite 04-02-2014] The United States Air Force has scheduled the launch of the 19th Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman built Defense Meteorological Satellite for April 3. A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 launch vehicle will carry the satellite from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The satellite, as a part of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP), will operate in a sun-synchronous orbit and continuously send down imagery, microwave and space weather data, providing military forces critical situational awareness information. This same data is used by weather forecasters to predict regional and global weather patterns, including severe thunderstorms, hurricanes and typhoons.

“For more than five decades, DMSP has been providing reliable, timely and dependable environmental information essential to the warfighter. DMSP 19 will extend this proud tradition well into the next decade,” said Col. Scott Larrimore, director of the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Defense Weather Systems Directorate.

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