Full Name Special Sensor Microwave Imager Status No longer operational
Instrument Agencies NOAA, DoD (USA) Maturity High Heritage - Operational
Instrument Type Imaging multi-spectral radiometers (passive microwave) Geometry Conical scanning
Instrument Technology Multi-purpose imaging MW radiometer Sampling Other
Data Access Open Access Data Format
Measurements and Applications Measures atmospheric, ocean and terrain microwave brightness temperatures to provide: sea surface winds, rain rates, cloud water, precipitation, soil moisture, ice edge, ice age.
Resolution Summary 15.7 x 13.9 km to 68.9 x 44.3 km (depends on frequency)
Swath Summary 1400 km
Accuracy Summary
Waveband Summary Microwave: 19.35 GHz, 22.235 GHz, 37 GHz, 85 GHz
MW (~0.1 cm - ~100 cm)
Instrument Measurements
Measurements Overview
Atmospheric Humidity FieldsAtmospheric specific humidity (TC)
Cloud particle properties and profileCloud liquid water (TC)
Liquid water and precipitation ratePrecipitation intensity at the surface (liquid or solid)
Ocean surface windsWind speed over sea surface (horizontal)
Snow cover, edge and depthSnow cover
Snow water equivalent
Soil moistureSoil moisture at the surface
Thematic Links Global Climate Observing System Essential Climate Variables (GCOS ECVs)
ECVDescriptionProduct(s)ECV Inventory 3.0 Record(s)
Cloud Properties click here click here search ECV Inventory records
Precipitation click here click here search ECV Inventory records
Snow click here click here search ECV Inventory records
Soil Moisture click here click here search ECV Inventory records
Water Vapour (upper air) click here click here search ECV Inventory records
Instrument Missions
DMSP F-8 - Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F-8 (1987 - 2006)
DMSP F-10 - Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F-10 (1990 - 1993)
DMSP F-11 - Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F-11 (1991 - 2000)
DMSP F-12 - Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F-12 (1994 - 2004)
DMSP F-13 - Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F-13 (1995 - 2015)
DMSP F-14 - Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F-14 (1997 - 2020)
DMSP F-15 - Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F-15 (1999 - 2019)