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Vertical Temperature Profile Radiometer

NSSDCA ID: 1974-015A-02

Mission Name: DMSP 5B/F5
Principal Investigator:


Supplementary Sensor E (SSE) was a vertical temperature profile radiometer. The objective of this experiment was to obtain vertical temperature and water vapor profiles of the atmosphere to support Department of Defense requirements in operational weather analysis and forecasting. The SSE was an eight-channel sensor with six channels (668.5, 677, 695, 708, 725, and 747 cm-1) in the carbon dioxide 15 micrometer absorption band, one channel (535 cm-1) in a water vapor absorption band, and one channel (835 cm-1) in the 11 micrometer atmospheric window. The experiment consisted of an optical system, detector and associated electronics, and a scanning mirror. The scanning mirror stepped across the satellite subtrack, allowing the SSE to view 25 separate columns of the atmosphere every 32 sec over a cross track ground swath of 185 km. While the scanning mirror was stopped at a scene station, the channel filters were totaled through the field of view. The surface resolution of the SSE was approximately 37 km at nadir. The carbon dioxide band radiation data were transformed to a temperature profile by a mathematical inversion technique. By a similar technique, this information could be combined with water vapor band data to obtain a water vapor profile. Identical experiments have been flown on all DMSP spacecraft launched since 1972.

Alternate Names

  • SSE

Funding Agency

  • Department of Defense-Department of the Air Force (United States)


  • Earth Science: Atmospheric Dynamics

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Principal InvestigatorGlobal Weather Center
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