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DMSP Satellite Data Handling System

Forecaster Consoles
SDHS meteorological products are created at Forecaster Consoles which include an alphanumeric monitor, three image graphics monitors, a keyboard, and a digitizing tablet with a stylus and puck. Forecasters use interactive menus to build products and can create custom menus for specific forecasting tasks. Forecasters generate weather products on SDHS using a "toolbox" of data and display control functions and arithmetic capabilities.

The Satellite Data Handling System (SDHS) is composed of hardware and software components which generate weather products using interactive imagery and graphic techniques. Weather forecasters are able to manipulate meteorological satellite imagery and conventional computer-based weather data to produce pictures as well as graphic and textual analyses and forecasts.

The SDHS is a multiprocessor system connected by the Internal Distribution Subsystem local area network. Control of the SDHS hardware and software is provided by the Master Support Processing Subsystem.

The SDHS Automated Weather Distribution System Product Driver Subsystem automatically generates and disseminates weather products to civilian and military agencies. The SDHS exchanges weather products with the National Weather Service through the Shared Processing Network, and interfaces to the Automated Weather Network and the Automated Digital Network.

The Ingest Subsystem accepts DMSP, TIROS, and GOES raw satellite data from Site III and stores it in the Raw Satellite Data Base.

Weather forecasters
Severe weather forecasters quickly analyze severe weather reports and issue bulletins as needed. Military Weather Advisory forecasts are created that identify areas where severe weather is expected. Forecasters monitor weather conditions for over 500 locations and issue DOD Point Warning forecasts when special weather conditions exist. Plain language severe weather reports are received via teletype and entered into the SDHS. Reports identifying extreme weather conditions, such as tornado touchdown, are quickly forwarded by the SDHS to the CDB processors for distribution.

Additionally, the SDHS accepts conventional weather data and SGDB imagery from the CDB computer facility for storage in the Display Data Base. These data are periodically transferred to the SDHS where they are stored and made available for retrieval, display, and processing within the Forecaster Console Subsystem. SDHS forecasters can also request conventional weather data directly from the CDB.

The Forecaster Console Subsystem has many specialized functions for interaction with satellite imagery and conventional weather data. Arithmetic and display operations can be performed on conventional data with the results overlaid on raw satellite

imagery such as DMSP or on SGDB imagery. Arithmetic operations provide access to over 50 specialized meteorological processing functions including Skew-T, Log P, gridded data analysis, gridded field derivation, and flight plan processing. Raw satellite image data received by the Ingest Subsystem is corrected to produce a constant pixel resolution along each scan line and is then earth-located such that graphics can be accurately overlaid on the raw satellite images. SGDB satellite image data is generated by the CDB computers from DMSP OLS data and is earth-located in a polar stereographical projection, and mercator projection.


Image of the Great Lakes Image of Texas and Gulf of Mexico Graphics hemisphere projection

Graphics can be overlaid on raw DMSP satellite data such as this visual image of the Great Lakes (left), and this night time infrared image showing Texas and the Gulf of Mexico (center). Graphics can also be overlaid on SGDB data such as this northern hemisphere projection (right).

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Designed and Developed by

The Aerospace Corp.

John Bohlson, Leonard Daly, and Charles Simmons
The Aerospace Corporation
Last modified on July 03, 1997




Please send any questions or comments regarding this service or content to
DMSP WebMaster - James Dixon