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DMSP 5D-2/F14



DMSP 5D-2/F14, also named USA 131, is one of a series of meteorological satellites developed and operated by the Air Force under the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP). This program, previously known as DAPP (Data Acquisition and Processing Program), was classified until March 1973. The objective of this program is to provide global visual and infrared cloudcover data and specialized environmental data to support Department of Defense operational weather analysis and forecasting requirements. Operationally, the program consists of two satellites in sun-synchronous polar orbits, with the ascending node of one satellite in early morning and the other at local noon.

The 6.4-m-long spacecraft is separated into four sections: (1) a precision mounting platform for sensors and equipment requiring precise alignment; (2) an equipment support module containing the electronics, reaction wheels, and some meteorological sensors; (3) a reaction control equipment support structure containing the third-stage rocket motor and supporting the ascent phase reaction control equipment; and (4) a 9.29-sq-m solar cell panel. The spacecraft stabilization is controlled by a combination flywheel and magnetic control coil system so that sensors are maintained in the desired earth-looking mode. One feature is the precision-pointing accuracy of the primary imager to 0.01 deg provided by a star sensor and an updated ephemeris navigation system. This allows automatic geographical mapping of the digital imagery to the nearest picture element.

The operational linescan system is the primary data acquisition system and provides real-time or stored, multi-orbit, day-and-night, visual and infrared imagery of clouds. A supplementary sensor package contains: (1) a microwave imager; (2) a microwave temperature sounder; (3) a microwave water vapor profiler; (4) an ion and electron scintillation monitor; (5) a precipitating electron/ion spectrometer; (6) a gamma/X-ray detector; (7) a magnetometer; and (8) a static earth-viewing sensor monitoring electromagnetic radiation.

Additional information concerning the satellite can be found in the report by D. A. Nichols, "The Defense Meteorological Satellite Program," Optical Engineering, v. 14, n. 4, p. 273, July-August 1975.

Alternate Names

  • 24753
  • DMSP-F14
  • DMSP5D-2-F14
  • USA 131
  • dmspf14

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1997-04-04
Launch Vehicle: Titan II
Launch Site: Vandenberg AFB, United States

Funding Agency

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


  • Surveillance and Other Military
  • Space Physics
  • Earth Science

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail

Other Sources of DMSP Data/Information

SSIES ion data (U. Texas - Dallas)
DMSP data (National Geophysical Data Center)
DMSP F14 summary (NASA MSFC)

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