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Microwave Imager (SSM/I)

NSSDC ID: 1990-105A-05
Mission Name: DMSP 5D-2/F10


The purpose of the microwave imager, SSM/I, is to provide day and night measurements of ocean surface wind speed, ice coverage and age, area and intensity of precipitation, cloud water content and land surface moisture. An estimate of atmospheric attenuation at each of the SSM/I sensor frequencies is also available. Microwave brightness temperatures are obtained with a seven-channel passive microwave radiometer operating at four frequencies, three with both vertical and horizontal polarization (19.35, 37.0, 85.5 GHz) and one with vertical polarization (22.23 GHz). The instrument scans across the ground track to gather data over an approximate 1400-km swath width with horizontal resolutions 13 to 50 km for different frequencies. The data can be used for tropical storm reconnaissance, ship routing in polar regions, agricultural weather, aircraft routing and refueling, etc.

Alternate Names

  • SSM/I


  • 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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