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Microwave Temperature Sounder (SSM/T)

NSSDC ID: 1990-105A-02
Mission Name: DMSP 5D-2/F10


The microwave temperature sounder, SSM/T, is a seven-channel scanning radiometer which measures radiation in the 5- to 6-mm wavelength (50- to 60-GHz) region (specifically 50.5, 53.2, 54.35, 54.9, 58.4, 58.825, and 59.4 GHz) to provide data on vertical temperatures from the earth's surface to above 30 km. The SSM/T operates in the absorption band of molecular oxygen. By choosing frequencies with different absorption coefficients on the wing of the oxygen absorption band, a series of weighting functions peaking at preselected altitudes is obtained. The radiometer scans across the nadir track on seven scan positions and two calibration positions (cold sky and 300 deg K). The dwell time for the crosstrack and calibration positions is 2.7 s each. The total scan period is 32 s. The instrument has an instantaneous field of view of 12 deg and scans plus or minus 36 deg from nadir.

Alternate Names

  • SSM/T


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

Additional Information

Questions or 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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