BackForward Satellite Programme: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program - Block 5D-1 

Programme details
Programme description
  • Series of operational satellites for military meteorology, with part of the data available for civilian use.
  • The programme started in 1965 with the series identified by the platforms:
    • Block 4A: 10 satellites launched in years 1965-1967
    • Block 5A: 6 satellites launched in years 1968-1971
    • Block 5B: 6 satellites launched in years 1971-1974
    • Block 5C: 2 satellites launched in years 1975-1976.
    • Block 5D: the last generation, evolved in three steps: Block 5D-1, Block 5D-2 and Block 5D-3.
  • The DMSP Block 5D-1 series includes 5 flight units.
  • The Department of Defense (DoD), specifically the US Air Force (USAF),  is responsible of development and operations.  NOAA supports the ground segment and provides linkage with the meteorological community.
  • The platforms are actively stabilised over 3 axes.
  • The design lifetime is 2 years.
  • Two sunsynchronous orbits are exploited at any time, around 6.30 and 10.00 respectively.
  • The replacement policy is based on yearly launches, alternatively in the early-morning and the mid-morning orbits.
  • See detailed description at
Data circulation
  • Onboard stored and real-time data are downlinked to USAF sites and other appointed military sites, as well as to NOAA sites.
  • Data are encrypted, thus not ordinarily available.
  • NOAA is responsible of disseminating MW data to the meteorological community.
Agencies DoDNOAA
Programme lifetime 1976 - 1980
Associated satellites and instruments

Note: red tag => no longer operational , green tag => operational , blue tag => planned