Operational Concept

Mission Planning and Mission Commanding accomplish operational control of the DMSP by transmitting command and load data to the DMSP satellites and collecting telemetry and raw sensor data from them. Raw sensor data is relayed to specialized ground processing centers. The telemetry/sensor data is ingested and the telemetry data is processed to determine the status of the spacecraft.

The Suitland MD Satellite Operational Control Center (SOCC) is the primary satellite operations center for DMSP. It is charged with supporting launch, early orbit, and day to day operations. The Integrated Polar Acquisition and Control Subsystem (IPACS) real-time system installed at SOCC provides the telemetry processing, spacecraft commanding, and ground system configuration and management functions for the DMSP spacecraft. The SOCC can communicate directly with the DMSP satellites through enhanced remote tracking stations (RTSs).

The Environmental Satellite Operations Control Center (ESOC) at Schriever AFB is the backup control center for SOCC. Equipment installed at ESOC is identical to that installed at SOCC. The two control centers run synchronous to each other. In the event of a failure at SOCC, the mission can be continued from ESOC.

The Command, Control, and Communications Segment (C3S) consists of the ground-based command, control, and communications functions required to maintain the health and welfare of the DMSP satellites and to recover the sensor payload data acquired during the satellite orbit.The functions performed by the C3S are shown in the DMSP Command Control and Communications Diagram.


The DMSP C3S performs all functions required to control and maintain the DMSP satellites.