BackForward Satellite Programme: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program - Block 5D-2 

Programme details
Programme description
  • The DMSP Block 5D-2 series includes 9 flight units.
  • Major improvement in respect of the Block 5D-1 series: introduction of MW imagery and sounding.
  • 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 3 years.
  • Two sunsynchronous orbits are exploited at any time, around 5.30 and 7.30 respectively.
  • The replacement policy is based on launches at roughly 2-year intervals, 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 1982 - 2020