DMSP Mark IV
A team of six can assemble the Mark IV
for real-time operation in 4 hours.
The Mark IV terminal is the predecessor to the Mark IV-B. It is a
transportable satellite terminal designed for worldwide tactical
deployment in hostile environments. A lightweight ground terminal,
the Mark IV can either be towed over rough terrain by M-55 trucks,
or transported on C-130 or C-141 aircraft. This terminal has the
capability to receive, process, decrypt, display, and distribute
the data from any of the DOD or NOAA meteorological satellites.
These terminals also can archive data on magnetic tape in parallel
with the ingesting, processing, and display of the data.
The terminal provides both IR and visual high-precision imagery in
near real time, corrected for distortion caused by the Earth's
curvature and enhanced to bring out cloud detail. This imagery can
be displayed to a 0.56-kilometer resolution and geographically
located, gridded, and annotated.
Imagery data from DMSP and TIROS satellites in polar orbit is
received by a 3-meter hydraulically driven X-Y antenna, which has
automatic pass prediction and autotrack modes of operation. Vehicle
parameters are maintained for up to four satellites.
Orbital-prediction capability is maintained for all visible passes
within an 8-hour period. The antenna tracks from a 0-degree rise
through zenith, to a 0-degree fade. The data quality is 10-6 at 10
degrees at the satellite's end of life. Data from the antenna is
fed to receivers (1,690-1,715 MHz for TIROS and 2,200-2,300 MHz for
DMSP), which can be tuned continuously.
Mark IV data over Southeastern United States
The imagery data is processed by bit synchronizers, recorded on
tape, decrypted if necessary, and sent to the Image Generation
Subsystem (IGS) hardware and microprocessors. Under the control of
a single operator, the IGS can handle automated image processing,
interactive image analysis, high resolution dry process hardcopy
transparencies, softcopy interactive display, and remote hardcopy
and softcopy displays.
The South Pole's freezing temperatures are not an obstacle for
the Mark IV. During the U.S. Marine deployment exercise,
"Operation Deep Freeze" in Antarctica, all systems were go.
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Designed and Developed by
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