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DMSP Tactical Terminals

Several generations of tactical terminals, known as TACTERMs, have been used since the mid-1960s. These systems receive, process, and display DMSP data to support missions worldwide. The current systems include the Rapid Deployment Imagery Terminals, the Mark IV-B, the AN/SMQ-11, and the Mark IV terminals.

DMSP Mark IV-B

Mark IV-B
Mark IV-B

The Mark IV-B is a meteorological satellite terminal designed to support tactical operations as part of the DMSP User Segment. The system can access two types of polar-orbiting satellites (DMSP and TIROS-N) and three types of geostationary satellites (GOES-NEXT, GMS, and METEOSAT). It is capable of acquiring, ingesting, decrypting, and processing data from one polar-orbiting and one geostationary satellite simultaneously. The Mark IV-B provides mass storage backup and playback of raw satellite data, and maintains a database for storing and retrieving meteorological information. The Mark IV-B has the capability to manipulate and enhance meteorological data and satellite imagery (either displayed or database imagery) in order to generate hard copy transparencies or paper copies of products. The system also provides for animation of imagery at rates ranging from 0.1 to 10 frames per second.

The Mark IV-B demodulates, decrypts, and processes the DMSP satellite 1.024 Mb/s Real-Time Direct (RDT) data stream containing visible and infrared imagery data, one channel Fine, one channel Smooth, and mission sensor data. DMSP Fine imagery is ingested, corrected for OLS scanner motion and Earth curvature, and Earth-location information is added to produce images with 0.3-nautical-mile resolution. DMSP RTD Fine data is averaged to create DMSP Smooth imagery of OLS visible and infrared data at a resolution of 1.5 nautical miles. The Mark IV-B also processes the SSM/I, SSM/T, and SSM/T-2 data received from DMSP satellites. The SSM/T data is processed to generate meteorological products such as brightness temperature fields, temperature-pressure soundings, temperature-height soundings, gridded temperature and thickness fields, tropopause height, temperature, and pressure. The Mark IV-B is also capable of receiving and processing the DMSP Real-Time Data Smooth 66 kb/s data stream.

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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




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DMSP WebMaster - James Dixon