SUNNYVALE, Calif., Sept. 16, 2014—The newest Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) satellite, built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT], was accepted for operations by U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) on August 19. This acceptance formally adds DMSP Flight-19 to the existing DMSP constellation. The satellite constellation provides weather data and forecasting information to civilian and military users.
USSTRATCOM’s operational acceptance follows a rigorous on-orbit satellite checkout performed by Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Air Force. As DMSP-19 enters its service life, a joint team of the Air Force and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will control the satellite from Suitland, Maryland.
“Successful handover means our team lived up to high expectations to integrate, test, launch and check out the satellite so it can be fully operational for its users,” said Sue Stretch, DMSP program director at Lockheed Martin. “DMSP-19 delivers information for important military decisions, from flight patterns to troop movements, and its information will be used by civilians for everyday weather forecasting and warning.”
Launched April 3 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, DMSP-19 is the fourth Block 5D-3 version to be launched. Lockheed Martin has produced more than 40 satellites throughout the program’s 50-year history. Many of the satellites are performing beyond their design life, so adding on-orbit capability in the form of new satellites is important for ensuring reliable weather information.
DMSP-19 joined six other sister satellites in polar orbit. It is equipped with a sophisticated sensor suite that can capture cloud cover in visible and infrared wavelengths; measure precipitation, surface temperature and soil moisture; and collect specialized global meteorological, oceanographic and solar-geophysical information in all weather conditions.
The DMSP program is led by the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. DMSP satellites are integrated and tested at the Lockheed Martin Space Systems facility in Sunnyvale, California.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 113,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2013 were $45.4 billion.