Author Topic: DMSP and NASA sea-ice Data  (Read 2047 times)

Offline catdlr

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DMSP and NASA sea-ice Data
« on: 10/28/2017 03:02 AM »
Ageing Satellites Put Crucial Sea Ice Climate Record at Risk

Quote
Scientists all over the world rely on the sea-ice record compiled by the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado. But the US military satellites that collect the data, by measuring ice extent using microwave sensors, are approaching the end of their lives. Three are still working but aging, and their intended successor started experiencing glitches in 2016, before conking out for good this month. The next possible replacement won't launch until at least the early 2020s.

Source: Scientific America
Tony De La Rosa

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Re: DMSP and NASA sea-ice Data
« Reply #1 on: 11/06/2017 08:36 AM »
This article from The Guardian quoted unnamed scientists that the request to scrap DMSP F-20 (was it already scrapped?) "was made for purely ideological reasons".

Can someone who have knowledge to the decision comment on this?
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: DMSP and NASA sea-ice Data
« Reply #2 on: 11/06/2017 11:42 AM »
This article from The Guardian quoted unnamed scientists that the request to scrap DMSP F-20 (was it already scrapped?) "was made for purely ideological reasons".

Can someone who have knowledge to the decision comment on this?

I don't have much knowledge on this, but I don't think it was "ideological" in terms of climate change. There's been something going on over that satellite for many years now. Not the hardware, but for some reason some members of Congress don't think it should fly and I have the suspicion that it is a programmatic/bureaucratic fight. It may be a case that they want to force the USAF to commit to the newer system and think that flying an older satellite is going to delay that from happening. But it's long seemed rather weird, as if the fight is more about personalities than ideology or policy.
« Last Edit: 11/06/2017 11:43 AM by Blackstar »

Offline zhangmdev

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Re: DMSP and NASA sea-ice Data
« Reply #3 on: 11/06/2017 12:12 PM »
It is was a bird built in the 1990s but never had a chance to fly.

JPSS-1 has instrument to monitor sea ice?

Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS)

https://jointmission.gsfc.nasa.gov/viirs.html

Offline DreamyPickle

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Re: DMSP and NASA sea-ice Data
« Reply #4 on: 11/06/2017 12:21 PM »
I found an interesting SpaceNews article which claims the storage cost is $40 million/year since the 1990s. This is a lot of money, but most of it has already been spent and it seems strange to scrap it so close to launch.

Offline Sam Ho

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Re: DMSP and NASA sea-ice Data
« Reply #5 on: 11/06/2017 05:25 PM »
It is was a bird built in the 1990s but never had a chance to fly.

JPSS-1 has instrument to monitor sea ice?

Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS)

https://jointmission.gsfc.nasa.gov/viirs.html
The instrument on JPSS-1 is as you note, a Visible/Infrared radiometer.  The instrument discussed in that Nature article is a microwave scanning radiometer.

Currently, in addition to the SSMIS radiometers on DMSP, there are also the AMSR-E on Aqua (no longer usable for science), the AMSR2 on GCOM-W1 (Shizuku), and the MWRI on the Fengyun-3 series on orbit, that are of similar capability.  The newest of these are AMSR2 and the FY-3C MWRI, which were launched in 2012 and 2013, with FY-3D expected to launch next week.  GCOM-W and Fengyun-3 both have plans for future spacecraft to maintain data continuity.  Aqua, GCOM-W1, and FY-3B are in afternoon orbits, whereas DMSP and FY-3C are in morning orbits.

The FY-3B (DOI: 10.1109/TGRS.2012.2197003) and FY-3C (DOI: 10.1109/IGARSS.2016.7729095) MWRI have been cross-calibrated against DMSP SSMIS.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: DMSP and NASA sea-ice Data
« Reply #6 on: 11/06/2017 07:33 PM »

I don't have much knowledge on this, but I don't think it was "ideological" in terms of climate change. There's been something going on over that satellite for many years now. Not the hardware, but for some reason some members of Congress don't think it should fly and I have the suspicion that it is a programmatic/bureaucratic fight. It may be a case that they want to force the USAF to commit to the newer system and think that flying an older satellite is going to delay that from happening. But it's long seemed rather weird, as if the fight is more about personalities than ideology or policy.

I found an interesting SpaceNews article which claims the storage cost is $40 million/year since the 1990s. This is a lot of money, but most of it has already been spent and it seems strange to scrap it so close to launch.

The fore-referenced article: With DMSP-19 sidelined by glitch, Air Force orders stay of execution for its twin
by Mike Gruss, March 15, 2016, references one Congressman against flying DMSP F-20:
Quote
DMSP F-20 has been a sore point with Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), the chairman of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee. In January, he said the Air Force wasted $518 million on DMSP-F20 and that the Pentagon would have been better off burning the money in a parking lot.
***

So what is the DoD doing as the DMSP satellites fail?  Where are they getting the data that they need?
NPOES is dead.
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: DMSP and NASA sea-ice Data
« Reply #7 on: 11/06/2017 08:14 PM »
I found an interesting SpaceNews article which claims the storage cost is $40 million/year since the 1990s. This is a lot of money, but most of it has already been spent and it seems strange to scrap it so close to launch.

If you go back a few years to when they launched the last one, there was an interesting Space News article about how that spacecraft had gotten more expensive sitting in storage. It was actually quite fascinating, because after all those years in storage they had to replace parts that had exceeded their lifetimes and then do some other updates to the technology. It was something like a satellite that had originally cost $150 million eventually cost over $500 million.

I could see how something like that could convince lawmakers that the USAF didn't know what it was doing.

Note also that Rogers is the same guy who wants a separate Space Force, so clearly he doesn't like how the USAF manages its space program.

Offline zhangmdev

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Re: DMSP and NASA sea-ice Data
« Reply #8 on: 11/06/2017 08:23 PM »

Currently, in addition to the SSMIS radiometers on DMSP, there are also the AMSR-E on Aqua (no longer usable for science), the AMSR2 on GCOM-W1 (Shizuku), and the MWRI on the Fengyun-3 series on orbit, that are of similar capability. 

How about the ATMS? It is "the next generation cross-track microwave sounder". Is it the successor to SSMIS, or for some different purposes?

Offline Sam Ho

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Re: DMSP and NASA sea-ice Data
« Reply #9 on: 11/06/2017 10:51 PM »
Currently, in addition to the SSMIS radiometers on DMSP, there are also the AMSR-E on Aqua (no longer usable for science), the AMSR2 on GCOM-W1 (Shizuku), and the MWRI on the Fengyun-3 series on orbit, that are of similar capability. 
How about the ATMS? It is "the next generation cross-track microwave sounder". Is it the successor to SSMIS, or for some different purposes?
It's an atmospheric instrument.  ATMS is the successor to AMSU-A/B.  SSMIS is also used for atmospheric measurements, so ATMS is, in that sense, a successor to SSMIS, but the issue here is sea-ice measurement.

https://jointmission.gsfc.nasa.gov/atms.html

Offline eeergo

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Re: DMSP and NASA sea-ice Data
« Reply #10 on: 11/07/2017 09:53 AM »
This piece probably hits the nail on its head, and I think the website should not be suspect of being pro-Trump.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2017/11/o-say-can-you-see-ice

Basically, the scrapping was decided before Trump took office. Also, DMSPs have shown a tendency to fragment, which is a different kind of environmental (orbital) problem by itself. While the scrapping could probably have been avoided, from publicly available information it seems a bit misguided to blame the Administration on this case. Not that there is a lack of other cases where it would be quite right, OTOH...
-DaviD-

Offline Blackstar

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Re: DMSP and NASA sea-ice Data
« Reply #11 on: 11/07/2017 02:01 PM »
from publicly available information it seems a bit misguided to blame the Administration on this case.

Is there anybody who is blaming the administration for this?

The USAF has wanted for years to launch that last DMSP. The opposition has come from Congress, apparently primarily from one member of Congress.

So the issue has been around for quite awhile, and it doesn't really appear to have anything to do with climate. Rather, it's about management.

Online nacnud

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Re: DMSP and NASA sea-ice Data
« Reply #12 on: 11/07/2017 02:21 PM »
I wanted to find a place to post this article about DMSP F20, hopefully it's not too political to go here.

Quote
Donald Trump accused of obstructing satellite research into climate change

President Trump has been accused of deliberately obstructing research on global warming after it emerged that a critically important technique for investigating sea-ice cover at the poles faces being blocked.

The row has erupted after a key polar satellite broke down a few days ago, leaving the US with only three ageing ones, each operating long past their shelf lives, to measure the Arctic’s dwindling ice cap. Scientists say there is no chance a new one can now be launched until 2023 or later. None of the current satellites will still be in operation then. - The Guardian
« Last Edit: 11/07/2017 02:22 PM by nacnud »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: DMSP and NASA sea-ice Data
« Reply #13 on: 11/07/2017 04:02 PM »
I wanted to find a place to post this article about DMSP F20, hopefully it's not too political to go here.


I think it's legit to post. After all, it's an issue.

But as I pointed out in a previous post, this issue predates the current administration. If people are turning this into a climate change issue, they are being opportunistic.

Offline Sam Ho

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Re: DMSP and NASA sea-ice Data
« Reply #14 on: 11/07/2017 08:09 PM »
I wanted to find a place to post this article about DMSP F20, hopefully it's not too political to go here.
I think it's legit to post. After all, it's an issue.

But as I pointed out in a previous post, this issue predates the current administration. If people are turning this into a climate change issue, they are being opportunistic.
And really, this story was set in motion about 20 years ago, which is about when the SSMIS on F20 was designed. 

Lots of imaging radiometers are still being built, just not by the US.  JAXA built ASMR-E on Aqua, as well as ASMR2 on GCOM-W.  They plan to launch GCOM-W2 before GCOM-W1 dies.  NSMC has MWRI on the Fengyun-3 series, which seems to have a regular replenishment schedule (FY-3B/C on orbit, FY-3D launching next week).  Russia has MTVZA-GY on the Meteor-M series, which has a semi-regular replenishment schedule (Meteor-M № 2 on orbit, Meteor-M № 2-1 launching the end of this month).  ESA will have ICI on MetOp-SG about 5 years from now.

In a pinch, cross-track radiometers, such as AMSU and ATMS, while designed for atmospheric observations, can be used for sea-ice as well.
Quote
The AMSU has an advantage over other instrument types such as SSMI or AMSR-E in that imaging and sounding channels are available that, when combined, allow retrievals of surface parameters and atmospheric profiles of temperature and moisture. On the other hand, the AMSU lacks polarization information at important imaging channels which is widely used in sea-ice algorithms.

Some papers:
A New Sea-Ice Concentration Algorithm Based on Microwave Surface Emissivities—Application to AMSU Measurements  DOI: 10.1109/TGRS.2010.2052812

On-orbit calibration of the “Meteor-M” microwave imager/sounder  DOI: 10.1109/IGARSS.2010.5651139

The FengYun-3 Microwave Radiation Imager On-Orbit Verification  DOI: 10.1109/TGRS.2011.2148200

Offline zhangmdev

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Re: DMSP and NASA sea-ice Data
« Reply #15 on: 11/07/2017 09:05 PM »
So the SSMIS on-board F20 would be the last of its kind if launched. Why US stop developing SSMIS-like (conically scanning) instruments? Seems quite tricky to calibrated data between SSMIS and ATMS.

Offline zhangmdev

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Re: DMSP and NASA sea-ice Data
« Reply #16 on: 11/14/2017 09:03 PM »
Seems NPOESS did have a conically-scanning Microwave Imager/Sounder (MIS), which passed PDR in 2010, but this instrument didn't show up on JPSS. Any idea why it was eliminated?

http://www.pxi.com/project_mis.php
https://www.nrl.navy.mil/media/news-releases/2010/nrls-microwave-imagersounder-passes-major-program-milestone
https://directory.eoportal.org/web/eoportal/satellite-missions/n/npoess

Offline Sam Ho

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Re: DMSP and NASA sea-ice Data
« Reply #17 on: 11/14/2017 10:19 PM »
Seems NPOESS did have a conically-scanning Microwave Imager/Sounder (MIS), which passed PDR in 2010, but this instrument didn't show up on JPSS. Any idea why it was eliminated?

http://www.pxi.com/project_mis.php
https://www.nrl.navy.mil/media/news-releases/2010/nrls-microwave-imagersounder-passes-major-program-milestone
https://directory.eoportal.org/web/eoportal/satellite-missions/n/npoess
NPOESS was split into JPSS and DWSS.  MIS would have been on the DWSS side.

Offline Sam Ho

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Re: DMSP and NASA sea-ice Data
« Reply #18 on: 12/02/2017 04:58 PM »
Ball has been awarded the contract to start design work for WSF-M, which will fly a copy of GMI.

http://www.ball.com/aerospace/newsroom/detail?newsid=123879

BOULDER, Colo., Nov. 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Ball Aerospace has been selected by the U.S. Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) to deliver the next-generation operational environmental satellite system, Weather System Follow-on – Microwave (WSF-M), for the Department of Defense (DoD). WSF-M is a predominantly fixed price contract that will provide for system design and risk reduction of a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite with a passive microwave imaging radiometer instrument and hosted Government furnished energetic charged particle (ECP) sensor.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: DMSP and NASA sea-ice Data
« Reply #19 on: 12/17/2017 04:17 PM »
Cross-post:
The DMSP History


Space and Missile Systems Center Los Angeles AFB
Published on Dec 14, 2017

The Space & Missile Systems Center unveils the final Defense Support Meteorological Support Program Satellite, DMSP-20, for display at the Schriever Space Complex within the Gordon Conference Center.

<see original post for YouTube video link>
« Last Edit: 12/17/2017 04:18 PM by zubenelgenubi »
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