[Source: National Space Science Data Center, http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1999-067A
MSP F15 (USA 147) was launched by a Titan rocket from Vandenberg AFB on December 12, ... 1999 into a 101 minute, sun-synchronous near-polar orbit at an altitude of 840km and with the Local Time nodes of 21:10 and 9:10. The Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) is a Department of Defense (DoD) program run by the Air Force Space and Missle Systems Center (SMC). The program designs, builds, launches, and maintains satellites monitoring the meteorological, oceanographic, and solar-terrestrial physics environments. Each DMSP satellite has a above the surface of the earth. The visible and infrared sensors (OLS) collect images across a 3000 km swath, providing global coverage twice per day. The combination of day/night and dawn/dusk satellites allows monitoring of global information such as clouds every 6 hours. The microwave imager (MI) and sounders (T1, T2) cover one half the width of the visible and infrared swath. These instruments cover polar regions at least twice and the equatorial region once per day. The space environment sensors (J4, M, IES) record along-track plasma densities, velocities, composition and drifts. The data from the DMSP satellites are received and used at operational centers continuously. The data are sent to the National Geophysical Data Center's Solar Terrestrial Physics Division (NGDC/STP) by the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA) for creation of an archive.