Author Topic: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)  (Read 27044 times)

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #40 on: 04/12/2022 04:53 pm »
This dates from January 1959 and shows that Lockheed was pushing for a more ambitious satellite then. This would have been based upon Sentry/Samos technology.

(And I don't know why it is orienting sideways here.)
« Last Edit: 04/12/2022 04:54 pm by Blackstar »

Offline AnalogMan

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #41 on: 04/12/2022 06:15 pm »
Rotated.

Offline LittleBird

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #42 on: 04/13/2022 12:31 pm »
https://thespacereview.com/article/4357/1

Dark clouds: The secret meteorological satellite program (part 1)
The RAND Corporation and cloud reconnaissance

by Dwayne Day
Monday, March 28, 2022

Amrom Katz was a short, energetic, outspoken physicist who worked for the RAND Corporation in the 1950s. RAND was located in the Los Angeles oceanside suburb of Santa Monica, California. It was a “think tank” where engineers, scientists, and policy experts studied advanced technologies and ideas for the US Air Force. At lunch, RAND’s thinkers would sip margaritas at a beachside bar and then return to their offices to think about nuclear war, earning the moniker “wizards of Armageddon.”
In this particular draft, Katz recommended that the Air Force begin a “cloud reconnaissance satellite” as soon as possible. Katz suggested that the service specifically not call it a “weather satellite,” because an accurate title would create problems.

Much of what RAND did during the 1950s concerned developing strategies for targeting, using, and protecting Air Force strategic weapons. But the think tank also had a small group of experts devoted to the subject of strategic reconnaissance and Katz and his thinking buddy Merton Davies were the lead wizards in this area. Although Katz was rarely the first person to come up with an idea, he was often the first person to study it in a comprehensive manner and recommend what the Air Force should do. Sometimes, but less often than Katz liked, they took his advice. In March 1959, Katz wrote an internal RAND “draft” document about weather satellites.

Turns out the really early, 1951, RAND report Inquiry into the Feasibility of Weather Reconnaissance from a Satellite Vehicle by Greenfield and Kellogg is now out there as well as things like the FEEDBACK studies:

"A discussion of the problem of obtaining an overall picture of the wide-scale weather situation. An attempt is made to present methods of attack on this problem, to show what may be actually seen from high-altitude photographs (primarily a discussion on necessary resolution and area coverages), to discuss what may be determined from these photographs (both directly and indirectly), and to give some of the results. Although this analysis is based on data obtained from vertically fired rockets, suggestions are made on possible methods of forming a synoptic picture from satellite-missile photographs."

https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/reports/2006/R365.pdf


« Last Edit: 04/13/2022 12:33 pm by LittleBird »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #43 on: 04/13/2022 01:15 pm »
Turns out the really early, 1951, RAND report Inquiry into the Feasibility of Weather Reconnaissance from a Satellite Vehicle by Greenfield and Kellogg is now out there as well as things like the FEEDBACK studies:


Yes, RAND made an effort about a decade ago (or more?) to put a lot of their historical reports online.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #44 on: 04/14/2022 01:54 pm »
From the NRO Staff history. That's the best image of Samos that I have seen with the cover off.
« Last Edit: 04/14/2022 01:54 pm by Blackstar »

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #45 on: 04/14/2022 04:32 pm »
You should FOIA the poster in the staff history, and see what they come back with. Maybe, you can get the original. Assuming they can find it :-)
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Offline LittleBird

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #46 on: 04/14/2022 05:03 pm »
You should FOIA the poster in the staff history, and see what they come back with. Maybe, you can get the original. Assuming they can find it :-)

It's an intriguing picture all round because it is recent, i.e. post the era of the new NRO building, and yet has the air of a room in the Pentagon corridor that is much discussed in the history.

Is it perhaps a museum or memorial of some sort in the Pentagon to the original NRO ?

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #47 on: 04/14/2022 07:17 pm »
You should FOIA the poster in the staff history, and see what they come back with. Maybe, you can get the original. Assuming they can find it :-)

It's an intriguing picture all round because it is recent, i.e. post the era of the new NRO building, and yet has the air of a room in the Pentagon corridor that is much discussed in the history.

Is it perhaps a museum or memorial of some sort in the Pentagon to the original NRO ?

I suspect that this is the NRO's office at the Pentagon. Yes, they have a big HQ, but they would still need some kind of office over there in the Pentagon.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #48 on: 04/16/2022 02:49 pm »
Working on part 4 of my article, which will cover the period of roughly 1965-1981. (Part 3 is finished, but I'm holding off on publishing it in TSR until part 4 is ready.)

There are some interesting connections and ironies to this story. For instance, the first DMSP, the NRO's Block 1 spacecraft, was created as an "interim" program until the Tiros follow-on program was ready. However, DMSP then became permanent. Then, because the Tiros follow-on kept getting delayed, the Weather Bureau created the Tiros Operational System (TOS) as an "interim" system until something better came along. It essentially became permanent too. Two interim programs that for all intents an purposes became the permanent systems.

Cargill Hall's history indicates that the TOS satellites were copies of the DMSP Block 2 satellites. However, I don't think that is true. I think the TOS satellites, although they put the camera sticking out the side instead of the bottom, may have been shorter and wider. I need to check the dimensions on these.

Offline libra

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #49 on: 04/16/2022 03:23 pm »
Quote
There are some interesting connections and ironies to this story. For instance, the first DMSP, the NRO's Block 1 spacecraft, was created as an "interim" program until the Tiros follow-on program was ready. However, DMSP then became permanent. Then, because the Tiros follow-on kept getting delayed, the Weather Bureau created the Tiros Operational System (TOS) as an "interim" system until something better came along. It essentially became permanent too. Two interim programs that for all intents an purposes became the permanent systems.


So typically aerospace ! The AH-1 Huey Cobra was created in 1965 as an interim, cheap type for Vietnam, pending the  (monster) AH-56 Cheyenne solved its issues.

Fast forward to 2022: AH-1 still in service.

Offline LittleBird

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #50 on: 04/16/2022 04:47 pm »

Cargill Hall's history indicates that the TOS satellites were copies of the DMSP Block 2 satellites. However, I don't think that is true. I think the TOS satellites, although they put the camera sticking out the side instead of the bottom, may have been shorter and wider. I need to check the dimensions on these.

I'm glad you are pursuing this because that was also my impression-TIROS 9, the lower of your two pics, indeed looks shorter and fatter than the only colour pic we ever seem to see of an early DMSP, grabbed below from the shorter of the two SAMSO-derived YouTube videos I posted above  https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=55957.msg2358623#msg2358623   at 3:01. [Edit: I assume it is TIROS 9 based on the caption here at NASA's NSSDC: https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraft/display.action?id=1965-004A]

Could this be in part because of the available space in, and shape of, the Delta shroud vs the Thor Burner I and II ?

[Edit: Interesting when looking again at Hall history that his text and picture caption slightly disagree-he describes TOS as a "carbon copy" in the text but as "based on" DMSP in figure caption.]
« Last Edit: 04/17/2022 05:29 am by LittleBird »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #51 on: 04/16/2022 07:41 pm »
So typically aerospace !

In some cases, I think they referred to programs as "interim" knowing full well that they were the cheaper/better alternative to a program that was bloated and behind schedule and going nowhere. But I also think that in some cases they were indeed interim programs that people expected to go away. The early DMSP, for instance, really was a bare bones satellite with no redundancy. It was not a good long-term solution to the requirement.


Offline Blackstar

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #52 on: 04/17/2022 01:24 am »
I'm glad you are pursuing this because that was also my impression-TIROS 9, the lower of your two pics, indeed looks shorter and fatter than the only colour pic we ever seem to see of an early DMSP, grabbed below from the shorter of the two YouTube videos I posted above  https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=55957.msg2358623#msg2358623   at 3:01. [Edit: I assume it is TIROS 9 based on the caption here at NASA's NSSDC: https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraft/display.action?id=1965-004A]

I need to get the dimensions for the second set of Tiros satellites. I have them for the DMSP blocks.

I will look up the caption for that photo and update here. The Tiros numbers are a little confusing, because I think they launched Tiros 10 before they launched Tiros 9.

Online jcm

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #53 on: 04/17/2022 02:02 am »
I'm glad you are pursuing this because that was also my impression-TIROS 9, the lower of your two pics, indeed looks shorter and fatter than the only colour pic we ever seem to see of an early DMSP, grabbed below from the shorter of the two YouTube videos I posted above  https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=55957.msg2358623#msg2358623   at 3:01. [Edit: I assume it is TIROS 9 based on the caption here at NASA's NSSDC: https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraft/display.action?id=1965-004A]

I need to get the dimensions for the second set of Tiros satellites. I have them for the DMSP blocks.

I will look up the caption for that photo and update here. The Tiros numbers are a little confusing, because I think they launched Tiros 10 before they launched Tiros 9.

Here is my Tiros program summary. Tiros 9 and 10 were not launched out of order. However Tiros 10 did use an older bus (the attached summary should probably have it in the 'enarged hatbox' subsection)
[edit: rechecking the docs, it looks like Tiros 10 was based on the Tiros 7 bus but was reconfigured to use the 'wheel' attitude control system like Tiros 9]
Tiros 5 was 1.07m dia 0.56m high
Tiros 9 was the same size I think
« Last Edit: 04/17/2022 02:23 am by jcm »
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Offline LittleBird

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #54 on: 04/17/2022 07:19 am »
I'm glad you are pursuing this because that was also my impression-TIROS 9, the lower of your two pics, indeed looks shorter and fatter than the only colour pic we ever seem to see of an early DMSP, grabbed below from the shorter of the two YouTube videos I posted above  https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=55957.msg2358623#msg2358623   at 3:01. [Edit: I assume it is TIROS 9 based on the caption here at NASA's NSSDC: https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraft/display.action?id=1965-004A]

I need to get the dimensions for the second set of Tiros satellites. I have them for the DMSP blocks.

I will look up the caption for that photo and update here. The Tiros numbers are a little confusing, because I think they launched Tiros 10 before they launched Tiros 9.

Here is my Tiros program summary. Tiros 9 and 10 were not launched out of order. However Tiros 10 did use an older bus (the attached summary should probably have it in the 'enarged hatbox' subsection)
[edit: rechecking the docs, it looks like Tiros 10 was based on the Tiros 7 bus but was reconfigured to use the 'wheel' attitude control system like Tiros 9]
Tiros 5 was 1.07m dia 0.56m high

Tiros 9 was the same size I think

Same Aviation Week article, August 3rd, 64, that has pictures of comparison of axial and wheel designs, gives 42 inches and so 1.07 m for Tiros 1-8. Doesn't explicitly confirm 9 had  same radius but has a nice picture comparing the camera systems on the baseplates of the axial and wheel versions.

One interesting thing about the Aviation Week  article is that it suggests that the success of Tiros 9 may have caused some immediate re-thinking about  its successors. Article was sourced directly from RCA as far as I can see, and was describing the upcoming OT-1 (launched as Tiros 10) as axial, OT-3 (ESSA 1) as wheel, and OT-2 (ESSA 2)  as being as yet undecided. Whereas no more axial missions flew, right ? [Edit: Sorry, I now see that you are indeed saying above that Tiros 10 was reconfigured from axial to wheel ]

It does also sound as if Tiros I, J, K and L as R&D missions were dropped entirely, though for example the seeds of later geostationary metsats can be seen there ? And I guess this also explains why the next Tiros prototypes were M and N, which always puzzled me ?

[Edit: Interesting that the OT series, launched from the Cape by Delta, were succeeded by  TOS  A to F series, launched out of Vandenberg. If the former were in some sense a Tiros batch at least one of which was converted to wheel design, was the latter more DMSP-like in any other sense apart from being a wheel and launched out of Vandenberg ? And why was TOS G (ESSA 9) the odd one out, in being launched from the Cape again ?]

« Last Edit: 04/17/2022 05:44 pm by LittleBird »

Offline LittleBird

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #55 on: 04/17/2022 09:08 am »
You should FOIA the poster in the staff history, and see what they come back with. Maybe, you can get the original. Assuming they can find it :-)

It's an intriguing picture all round because it is recent, i.e. post the era of the new NRO building, and yet has the air of a room in the Pentagon corridor that is much discussed in the history.

Is it perhaps a museum or memorial of some sort in the Pentagon to the original NRO ?

I suspect that this is the NRO's office at the Pentagon. Yes, they have a big HQ, but they would still need some kind of office over there in the Pentagon.

Now you point it out I guess they must have, and that the conference room photo would be in same place. Doorway photo from Ring C might thus also be recent-both grabs below from back cover of same history.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #56 on: 04/17/2022 11:40 am »
Tiros 5 was 1.07m dia 0.56m high
Tiros 9 was the same size I think

DMSP Block 4 was 30 inches diameter (76 cm)
DSMP Blocks 1-3 were 23 inches diameter (58 cm)


Offline Blackstar

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #57 on: 04/17/2022 05:28 pm »
I'm glad you are pursuing this because that was also my impression-TIROS 9, the lower of your two pics, indeed looks shorter and fatter than the only colour pic


Here is the caption for the photo that has the grid background.

« Last Edit: 04/17/2022 05:29 pm by Blackstar »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #58 on: 04/17/2022 10:40 pm »
I'm ending my series with the DMSP-5D1 satellites. (They later built 5D2 and 5D3 series.) I was looking for some citations and found this 1985 report:

DOC (Department of Commerce). 1985. ENVIROSAT-2000 Report. Comparison of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) and the NOAA Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) Program.

https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/citations/ADA165118


Some decent line drawings of the satellites.

I have also attached some relevant GAO reports.

« Last Edit: 04/18/2022 01:24 pm by Blackstar »

Offline LittleBird

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Re: Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP)
« Reply #59 on: 04/18/2022 09:12 am »
I'm ending my series with the DMSP-5D1 satellites. (They later built 5D2 and 5D3 series.) I was looking for some citations and found this 1985 report:

DOC (Department of Commerce). 1985. ENVIROSAT-2000 Report. Comparison of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) and the NOAA Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) Program.

https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/citations/ADA165118


Some decent line drawings of the satellites.

Very nice report that, useful to me as a reference for its ionospheric sensors etc among many other things, and a real snapshot of how much the DMSP 5D2 and NOAA combination was doing by mid-80s. Thanks.

Also has some interesting and new to me examples of what DMSP did, e.g. role in finding the wreckage of KAL 007-first grab below. 

As you'll know, the report describes, and your pictures show, 5D-2 (Atlas launch, one STAR-37S AKM built-in to spacecraft) as per https://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/dmsp-5d2.htm and you have a really nice drawing there of s/c in its shroud on Atlas E.

Haved you or anyone else seen similar line drawings of the 5D-1 in its shroud (needed two upper stages because Thor less powerful, so Thor with Star 37 XE and 37S  https://space.skyrocket.de/doc_lau_det/thor-lv2f_star-37xe_star-37s_iss.htm), or even of the earlier Block 1 through 5C on their various boosters ?  The only example I've seen of a line drawing of anything on a Burner II is here: https://www.b14643.de/Spacerockets_2/United_States_4/Thor/Gallery/Thor-Burner.htm which is a multiple payload mission rather than a DMSP as far as I can see.

Same site however does have a nice photo of what I think is a 5C on a Thor Burner 2A, second grab below, I wonder if you've seen any other such examples of DMSPs on their boosters. I don't know why these intrigue me except that Thor Burner and similar rockets were always rather obscure in the 70s, and the horizontal assembly and rather "open-air" conditions now seem modern rather than low-tech.
« Last Edit: 04/18/2022 09:14 am by LittleBird »

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