Author Topic: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)  (Read 26957 times)

Online Blackstar

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #100 on: 06/18/2022 11:36 am »
I've been trying to find good photos for the article, with only limited success. There are no good photos of the Block 4 and 5A, B and C satellites. One Block 4B was donated to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, so there should be good photos of that (I have not contacted the museum to ask if they have any). The photos of the 5A, 5B and 5C are grainy and just awful. I don't know why that is. There aren't even many good photos of the 5D-1 and 5D-2, even though the program was more open.

Of course, just because this stuff is not on the internet does not mean that no good photos exist. They may even have been published somewhere in print. But I think it is somewhat telling that the official history did not have good photos.

Here are a couple of decent launch vehicle photos.

Online Blackstar

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #101 on: 06/19/2022 06:51 pm »
I look forward to article #5 (or should that be block 5) :-)

I'm not planning anything more past part 4, which takes the story up to 1982. I don't have good sources beyond that, and I don't want to do new research. It would be interesting to know about USAF plans to transition various spacecraft to using the shuttle. There were probably a lot of studies done about that in the late 1970s. They did launch DSCS III and DSP from the shuttle. But what about plans to launch GPS and DMSP from the shuttle? What were they going to do with the Space Test Program? There must have been a lot of work on that, but we haven't seen much of it.

I have picked up some info about plans to switch the classified spacecraft to the shuttle.

Offline LittleBird

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #102 on: 06/20/2022 07:48 am »
I look forward to article #5 (or should that be block 5) :-)

I'm not planning anything more past part 4, which takes the story up to 1982. I don't have good sources beyond that, and I don't want to do new research. It would be interesting to know about USAF plans to transition various spacecraft to using the shuttle. There were probably a lot of studies done about that in the late 1970s. They did launch DSCS III and DSP from the shuttle. But what about plans to launch GPS and DMSP from the shuttle? What were they going to do with the Space Test Program? There must have been a lot of work on that, but we haven't seen much of it.

As I am sure you know I was gently teasing, but there are some nice impressions of GPS on shuttle which I remember seeing at the time. Fact that Rockwell were building both may well have ensured this of course. Thumbnail below, higher res versions are on web.
 
« Last Edit: 06/20/2022 07:49 am by LittleBird »

Online Blackstar

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #103 on: 06/20/2022 12:25 pm »
That was done by an artist named Ted Brown, who did a lot of shuttle concept art in the early 1980s:

https://e05.code.blog/category/artist/ted-brown/

« Last Edit: 06/20/2022 09:42 pm by Blackstar »

Offline LittleBird

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #104 on: 06/21/2022 12:11 pm »
That was done by an artist named Ted Brown, who did a lot of shuttle concept art in the early 1980s:

https://e05.code.blog/category/artist/ted-brown/

When I first come across his work I wa amazed to see just how many of the classic images are his, including pics I recognise from Frontiers of Space and a Turnill cover among others.  There was a lovely photo of him painting a shuttle at KSC which NASA ran in its picture of the day series.

Interesting that 1981 shuttle pic has no less than 3 payloads, one on a Boeing IUS and two Navstar-type GPS payloads on mystery upper stages. In the end Navstar and early GPS used SVS on Atlas ?
« Last Edit: 06/21/2022 09:21 pm by LittleBird »

Online Blackstar

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #105 on: 06/28/2022 01:41 am »
https://thespacereview.com/article/4412/1

Dark Clouds: The secret meteorological satellite program (part 4)
The Air Force finally gets its weather satellite

by Dwayne A. Day
Monday, June 27, 2022

On the evening of July 14, 1980, a Thor-Burner rocket lifted off from its pad only a few hundred meters from the rocky Pacific coast at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. It arced out over the ocean, heading south. As it climbed, at least for awhile, all looked fine. Soon its first stage shut down and the second stage started to separate.

To ground controllers back at Vandenberg, the numbers on their computer screens started to look wrong. The second stage engine was firing, but the rocket was not gaining the required velocity. And soon it was all over: the satellite began to lose altitude until it fell into the ocean far downrange. The loss was a big deal, because the satellite on board was heading to space to replace the Air Force’s only remaining weather satellite, a satellite that had been badly malfunctioning for months and was on its last legs. A month later that sick satellite in orbit failed completely, and with the replacement satellite smashed to pieces in the ocean, the US military was without a weather satellite for the first time in a decade and a half.

The road to disaster is often paved with bad decisions. Many bad decisions had led the Air Force space program to the unfortunate situation it found itself in by summer 1980. But those decisions had compiled by the late 1970s to produce a situation that was not inevitable, but certainly was not surprising.

Online Blackstar

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #106 on: 11/12/2023 11:00 pm »
Got this.


Offline brahmanknight

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #107 on: 11/13/2023 10:28 am »
That was done by an artist named Ted Brown, who did a lot of shuttle concept art in the early 1980s:

https://e05.code.blog/category/artist/ted-brown/

When I first come across his work I wa amazed to see just how many of the classic images are his, including pics I recognise from Frontiers of Space and a Turnill cover among others.  There was a lovely photo of him painting a shuttle at KSC which NASA ran in its picture of the day series.

Interesting that 1981 shuttle pic has no less than 3 payloads, one on a Boeing IUS and two Navstar-type GPS payloads on mystery upper stages. In the end Navstar and early GPS used SVS on Atlas ?

What is 'SVS'?

Offline LittleBird

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #108 on: 11/13/2023 11:06 am »
That was done by an artist named Ted Brown, who did a lot of shuttle concept art in the early 1980s:

https://e05.code.blog/category/artist/ted-brown/

When I first come across his work I wa amazed to see just how many of the classic images are his, including pics I recognise from Frontiers of Space and a Turnill cover among others.  There was a lovely photo of him painting a shuttle at KSC which NASA ran in its picture of the day series.

Interesting that 1981 shuttle pic has no less than 3 payloads, one on a Boeing IUS and two Navstar-type GPS payloads on mystery upper stages. In the end Navstar and early GPS used SVS on Atlas ?

What is 'SVS'?

Solid fuel upper stage. e.g. https://space.skyrocket.de/doc_lau_det/atlas-ef_sgs-1.htm and
https://space.skyrocket.de/doc_lau/atlas_sd.htm
but there'll be others who know more about it.

SVS stands for Stage Vehicle System, and  was built by Fairchild:

Quote
The system employed a spin-stabilized, tandem pair of solid rocket motors (mounted atop the ATLAS F) to boost each 1,720-pound GPS satellite into orbit.
From a USAF history, the Cape, via https://spp.fas.org/military/program/cape/cape3fn.htm

It seems to have been followed by SGS-2 which was McDonnell Douglas, this may explain why SVS is also sometimes called SGS-1:
Quote
As far back as 1978, the Air Force was aware that Block II NAVSTAR satellites would be 200-400 pounds heavier than Block I spacecraft, and Fairchild's original stage vehicle system would not be able to handle the heavier payloads. Consequently, the Space and Missile Systems Organization advertised for a more powerful stage vehicle in October 1978, and it issued a formal Request For Proposal (RFP) on 25 January 1979 for two Space Guidance System II (SGS II) upper stages with an option to deliver and launch five more vehicles by July 1983. McDonnell Douglas was the only contractor to respond to the RFP by the closing date (13 March 1979), and the company was awarded the initial SGS II contract on 14 June 1980. McDonnell Douglas experienced nozzle defects and stability problems with the SGS II's Thiokol Star 48 solid rocket motors, but, with the Aerospace Corporation's help, the contractor resolved its difficulties in 1983. ATLAS E launch vehicles equipped with SGS II upper stages were used to boost the NAVSTAR 9, 10 and 11 satellites into their transfer orbits in 1984 and 1985
again from "The Cape" as above.

« Last Edit: 11/14/2023 05:40 am by LittleBird »

Offline Jim

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #109 on: 11/13/2023 02:13 pm »
That was done by an artist named Ted Brown, who did a lot of shuttle concept art in the early 1980s:

https://e05.code.blog/category/artist/ted-brown/

When I first come across his work I wa amazed to see just how many of the classic images are his, including pics I recognise from Frontiers of Space and a Turnill cover among others.  There was a lovely photo of him painting a shuttle at KSC which NASA ran in its picture of the day series.

Interesting that 1981 shuttle pic has no less than 3 payloads, one on a Boeing IUS and two Navstar-type GPS payloads on mystery upper stages. In the end Navstar and early GPS used SVS on Atlas ?

What is 'SVS'?

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=27664.msg2424795#msg2424795
« Last Edit: 11/13/2023 02:14 pm by Jim »

Online Blackstar

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #110 on: 11/27/2023 09:44 pm »
https://spacenews.com/as-military-weather-satellites-near-end-of-life-dod-turns-to-partners-for-data/

As military weather satellites near end of life, DoD turns to partners for data
The U.S. military still relies on 1960s-era DMSP satellites

Sandra Erwin November 21, 2023   

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Space Force is on track to launch at least two weather monitoring satellites next year while determining a long-term replacement for its aging fleet that currently supplies essential yet insufficient environmental monitoring.

In the coming years, some capacity will come from U.S. military-owned satellites but DoD planners and weather analysts for the most part will use data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Europe’s Eumetsat, the Japan Meteorological Agency and other partners, officials said Nov. 20.

Col. Patrick Williams, director of weather for the U.S. Air Force, said the military can no longer rely on the aging Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) constellation. Only two are still functioning, and their limited observational capabilities are insufficient for modern military missions, Williams said at a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event.


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