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Earth Observation Group (EOG)

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The Earth Observation Group at NGDC is home to the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Archive. In addition to maintaining the archive, the EOG performs research on the data as well as creating products.
The DMSP is a Department of Defense (DoD) program run by the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC). The DMSP designs, builds, launches, and maintains satellites monitoring the meteorological, oceanographic, and solar-terrestrial physics environments.
Each DMSP satellite has a 101 minute, sun-synchronous near-polar orbit at an altitude of 830km above the surface of the earth. The visible and infrared sensors (OLS) collect images across a 3000km swath, providing global coverage twice per day. The combination of day/night and dawn/dusk satellites allows monitoring of global information such as clouds every 6 hours. The microwave imager (MI) and sounders (T1, T2) cover one half the width of the visible and infrared swath. These instruments cover polar regions at least twice and the equatorial region once per day. The space environment sensors (J4, M, IES) record along-track plasma densities, velocities, composition and drifts.
The data from the DMSP satellites are received and used at operational centers continuously. The data are sent to the National Geophysical Data Center's Solar Terrestrial Physics Division Earth Observation Group (NGDC/STP/EOG) by the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA) for creation of an archive.
Currently, data from 4 satellites (3 day/night, 1 dawn/dusk) are added to the archive each day.