Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Appendix 3: Space Vehicles
WS-1
 
WS-2
Copyright © 2003-2007 Jos Heyman
 (HTML formatting by Andreas Parsch) 

General Electric WS-1 DMSP Block 5D-2/3

The designation WS-1A refers to the Block 5D-2 series of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Programme (DMSP) which were based on the earlier Block 5D-1 series of meteorological satellite. The Block 5D-2 satellites, which had a mass on 770 kg, were built by General Electric.

Image: Lockheed Martin
WS-1A


The instrumentation on board of the satellites varies from satellite to satellite and consisted of the following instruments:


DMSP F-6OLS, SSJ/4, SSB/A, SSI/E
DMSP F-7OLS, SSJ/4, SSM/T, SSM, SSI/E, SSJ, SSB/S
DMSP F-8OLS, SSJ/4, SSI/ES, SSB/X. SSM/T
DMSP F-9OLS, SSJ/4, SSM/I, SSI/ES, SSB/X, SSM/T, SSM(?), SSH/2(?)
DMSP F-10OLS, SSJ/4, SSM/I, SSI/ES, SSB/X, SSM/T
DMSP F-11OLS, SSJ/4, SSM/I, SSI/ES, SSB/X, SSM/T, SSM(?)
DMSP F-12OLS, SSJ/4, SSM/I, SSI/ES, SSB/X, SSM/T, SSM(?)
DMSP F-13OLS, SSJ/4, SSM/I, SSI/ES, SSB/X, SSM/T, SSM(?)
DMSP F-14OLS, SSJ/4, SSM/I, SSI/ES, SSB/X, SSM/T, SSM(?)
 
Instruments for each individual DMSP F satellite

Like the earlier DMSP satellites, they were placed in pairs in sun-synchronous orbits in such a manner that one satellite crossed the equator at 6.30 local time followed by the other satellite at noon.

Photo: Author's collection
WS-1B
DMSP F-15 (1999 067A)


Commencing with DMSP F-15 the satellites were fitted with larger sensors payloads and were also known as the Block 5D-3 series which carried the designation WS-1B. The instruments carried were:

  1. the Operational Linescan System (OLS) weather imager
  2. the SSMIS (microwave imager and sounder)
  3. the SSULI ultraviolet limb imager
  4. the SSUSI ultraviolet spectrographic imager and nadir airglow photometer
  5. the SSI/ES-3 thermal plasma instrument
  6. the SSJ/5 precipitating particle spectrometer
  7. the SSF laser threat warning sensor

Four satellites remain in storage for future launch.

Image: USAF
WS-1B


Name Intl. Designation Launch Re-entry Notes
DMSP F-61982 118A21-Dec-1982 Also known as Ops-9845
DMSP F-71983 113A18-Nov-1983 Also known as Ops-1294
DMSP F-81987 053A20-Jun-1987 Also known as USA-26
DMSP F-91988 006A3-Feb-1988 Also known as USA-29
DMSP F-101990 105A1-Dec-1990 Also known as USA-68
DMSP F-111991 082A28-Nov-1991 Also known as USA-73
DMSP F-121994 057A29-Aug-1994 Also known as USA-106
DMSP F-131995 015A24-Mar-1995 Also known as USA-109
DMSP F-141997 012A4-Apr-1997 Also known as USA-131
DMSP F-151999 067A12-Dec-1999 Also known as USA-147
DMSP F-162003 048A18-Oct-2003 Also known as USA-172
DMSP F-172006 050A4-Nov-2006 Also known as USA-191

Launch dates of the Block 5D-2/3 series

Background history

The first steps towards developing a series of meteorological satellites under the designation of Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) where taken in 1962 when the RCA Corporation developed a number of satellites identified in the P35 series which were grouped in generations known as 'Blocks'. Of these Blocks 1 and 2 must be considered as experimental satellites. Over the time period during which the satellites were launched the instrumentation on board of the satellites was progressively improved. Whereas early satellites, such as those in the Block 4A series, were equipped with two vidicon cameras, later satellites utilised line scan cameras operating in the visual and infra-red bands of the spectrum. Other instruments that were carried included temperature sounders and data collection and transmission systems. All the successful satellites in the P35 series were placed in a sun-synchronous orbit.

Block 1

The Block 1 military meteorological satellites were developed by RCA. The mass was 91 kg. The satellites were fitted with a single camera system. The entire programme was known as Program II, Program 694BH and Program 417.

Image: Author's collection
DMSP Block 1
P35-2 (1962 αο1)


Name Intl. Designation Launch Re-entry Notes
P35-1---23-May-1962--- Also known as Ops-1201 and FTV-3501; failed to orbit
P35-21962 αο123-Aug-1962  Also known as Ops-3502 and FTV-3502
P35-31963 005A19-Feb-196326-Dec-1979 Also known as Ops-0240
P35-4---26-Apr-1963--- Also known as Ops-1298; failed to orbit
P35-5---27-Sep-1963--- Also known as Ops-1610; failed to orbit

Launch dates of the Block 1 series

Block 2

The RCA Block 2 military meteorological satellites were a development of the Block 1 series. The series was also known as AFP-43 and the satellites had a mass of 130 kg. They were fitted with two camera systems.

Name Intl. Designation Launch Re-entry Notes
P35-61964 002B19-Jan-1964 Also known as Ops-3367
P35-71964 002C19-Jan-1964  
P35-81964 031A18-Jun-1964 Also known as Ops-4467
P35-91964 031B18-Jun-1964  

Launch dates of the Block 2 series

Block 3

The RCA Block 3 series was based on the RCA Block 2 series. The satellites had a mass of 150 kg.

Name Intl. Designation Launch Re-entry Notes
P35-101965 003A19-Jan-196513-Jul-1979 Also known as Ops-7040
P35-111965 021A18-Mar-196531-Dec-1989 Also known as Ops-7353
P35-121965 038A20-May-1965  Also known as Ops-8386
P35-131965 072A9-Sep-1965  Also known as Ops-8068
P35-14---6-Jan-1966--- Also known as Ops-2394; failed to orbit
P35-151966 026A31-Mar-1966  Also known as Ops-0340

Launch dates of the Block 3 series

Block 4A

The RCA Block 4A satellites had a mass of 125 kg. The satellites were equipped with two vidicon cameras.

Name Intl. Designation Launch Re-entry Notes
P35-161966 082A16-Sep-1966 Also known as Ops-6026
P35-171967 010A8-Feb-1967 Also known as Ops-6073
P35-181967 080A23-Aug-1967 Also known as Ops-7202
P35-191967 096A11-Oct-1967 Also known as Ops-1264

Launch dates of the Block 4A series

Block 4B

The RCA Block 4B satellites had a mass of 195 kg.

Name Intl. Designation Launch Re-entry Notes
P35-201968 042A23-May-1968 Also known as Ops-7869
P35-211968 092A23-Oct-1968 Also known as Ops-4078
P35-221969 062A22-Jul-1969 Also known as Ops-1127

Launch dates of the Block 4B series

Block 5A

The Block 5A satellites had a mass of 195 kg.

Name Intl. Designation Launch Re-entry Notes
P35-231970 012A11-Feb-1970 Also known as Ops-0054 and DAPP 1524
P35-241970 070A3-Sep-1970 Also known as Ops-0203 and DAPP 2525
P35-251971 012A17-Feb-1971 Also known as Ops-5268 and DAPP 3526

Launch dates of the Block 5A series

Block 5B/C

The Block 5B series satellites had a mass of 195 kg. The Block 5C satellites commenced with DMSP-3.

Photo: Author's collection
DMSP Block 5C
DMSP-3 (1972 089A)


Name Intl. Designation Launch Re-entry Notes
DMSP-11971 087A14-Oct-1971 Also known as Ops-4311 and P35-26
DMSP-21972 018A24-Mar-1972 Also known as Ops-5058
DMSP-31972 089A9-Nov-1972 Also known as Ops-7323
DMSP-41973 054A17-Aug-1973 Also known as Ops-8364
DMSP-51974 015A16-Mar-1974 Also known as Ops-8579
DMSP-61974 063A9-Aug-1974 Also known as Ops-6983
DMSP-71975 043A24-May-1975 Also known as Ops-6226
DMSP-81976 016A19-Feb-197619-Feb-1976 Also known as Ops-5140; failed to achieve correct orbit

Launch dates of the Block 5B/C series

Block 5D-1

The Block 5D-1 sub-series of meteorological satellites is commonly referred to as Advanced Meteorological Satellite (AMS). The satellites, which at first had a mass of 450 kg (for AMS 1 and AMS 2) and later 513 kg (for AMS 3, AMS 4 and AMS 5), carried instrumentation which varied from satellite to satellite and included the following instruments:

  1. an Operational Line Scan (OLS) system which provided images with a resolution of up to 3 km in the visible and infrared bands;
  2. a gamma ray detector (SSB);
  3. an infrared temperature and moisture sounder (SSH/2); and
  4. a precipitating electron/ion spectrometer (SSJ/4).

The satellites were placed in pairs in sun synchronous orbits in such a manner that one satellite crossed the equator at noon local time followed by the other satellite at 6.30 pm. Real time read out from the DMSP satellites was standard, allowing the military commanders in the field to have the necessary meteorological information instantaneously.

Photo: Author's collection
DMSP Block 5D-1
AMS-1 (1976 091A)


Name Intl. Designation Launch Re-entry Notes
AMS-11976 091A11-Sep-1976 Also known as Ops-5721 and DMSP F-1
AMS-21977 044A5-Jun-1977 Also known as Ops-5644 and DMSP F-2
AMS-31978 042A1-May-1978 Also known as Ops-6182 and DMSP F-3
AMS-41979 050A6-Jun-1979 Also known as Ops-5390 and DMSP F-4
AMS-5---14-Jul-1980---Failed to orbit; also known as DMSP F-5

Launch dates of the Block 5D-1 series


Back to Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 3





Last Updated: 30 July 2007