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Atmospheric Temperature Profiler (SSM/T)

NSSDCA ID: 2003-048A-02

Mission Name: DMSP 5D-3/F16


The microwave temperature sounder SSM/T is a 7-channel radiometer that measures atmospheric emission in the 50 to 60 GHz oxygen (O2) band. The instrument is designed to provide temperature soundings over previously inaccessible regions and at higher altitudes than those attainable with IR sounders such as the SSH and SSH-2 which were flown on the F-1 through F-6 satellites. The SSM/T is a cross-track nadir scanning radiometer having a field of view (FOV) of 14.4 degrees. At the nominal 833 km altitude, the subtrack spatial resolution is an approximate circle of 174 km diameter at nadir. The SSM/T data swath is about 1500 km; therefore, there is a data coverage gap between successive orbits over much of the earth. NOAA's National Geophysical Data Center maintains the data archive at

Alternate Names

  • DMSP5D-3/F16/AtmosphericTemperatureProfiler_SSM/T_

Funding Agency

  • Department of Defense (United States)


  • Earth Science: Atmospheric Dynamics
  • Earth Science: Land Surface Processes
  • Earth Science: Physical Oceanography

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. Dieter K. Bilitza



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