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Encyclopedia > Disaster Monitoring Constellation

The Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) consists of five remote-sensing satellites constructed by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) and operated for the Algerian, Nigerian, Turkish, British and Chinese governments by DMC International Imaging. The DMC provides emergency Earth imaging for disaster relief under the International Charter for Space and Major Disasters, which the DMC formally joined in November 2005. Other DMC Earth imagery is used for a variety of civil applications by a variety of governments. Spare available imaging capacity is sold under contract. Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, or SSTL, is a spin-off company of the University of Surrey that builds and operates small satellites. ... DMC International Imaging (DMCII) is the company that manages the Disaster Monitoring Constellation for the International Charter for Space and Major Disasters. ...

The DMC provides far larger areas of imagery than, but at comparable resolution to, established government imaging satellites such as Landsat. DMC imagery was deliberately designed to be comparable to Landsat imagery, in order to leverage the expertise and software of the large established remote sensing community used to working with Landsat images. Imagery can be provided far more rapidly from the DMC than from Landsat, thanks to having multiple similar satellites in orbit ready to cross over a point of interest, and the larger images produced. This brings the responsiveness that is needed for emergencies and for disaster support, with images provided across the Internet from the responsive satellite and a member country's ground station within a day or less of a request being made. The Landsat program is the longest running enterprise for acqusition of imagery of Earth from space. ...

The DMC has monitored the effects and aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami (December 2004), Hurricane Katrina (August 2005), and many other floods, fires and disasters. The tsunami that struck Malé in the Maldives on December 26, 2004. ... Lowest pressure 902 mbar (hPa; 26. ...

The individual DMC satellites are:

  • AlSAT-1 (Algeria), launched November 2002.
  • BilSAT (Turkey)
  • NigeriaSAT-1 (Nigeria)
  • UK-DMC (United Kingdom), all launched September 2003.
  • Beijing-1 (China), launched October 2004.

The sun-synchronous orbits of these satellites are coordinated so that the satellites follow each other around an orbital plane, ascending north over the Equator at 10:15 am local time (and 10:30 am local time for Beijing-1). By analogy with the geosynchronous orbit, a heliosynchronous orbit is a heliocentric orbit of radius 24. ...

Some of these satellites also include other imaging payloads and experimental payloads: onboard hardware-based image compression (on BilSAT), a GPS reflectometry experiment and onboard Internet router (on the UK-DMC satellite). The DMC satellites are notable for communicating with their ground stations using the Internet Protocol for payload data transfer and command and control, so extending the Internet into space. Many of the technologies used in the design of the DMC satellites, including Internet Protocol use, were tested in space beforehand on SSTL's UoSAT-12 satellite. GNSS reflectometry involves making measurements from the reflections from the Earth of navigation signals from Global Navigation Satellite Systems such as GPS. It is also known as GPS reflectometry. ... CLEO - Cisco router in Low Earth Orbit, is an Internet router from Cisco Systems that was integrated into the UK-DMC Disaster Monitoring Constellation satellite built by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) as a secondary experimental payload, and launched into space with the satellite from Plesetsk on 27 September 2003. ... The Internet Protocol (IP) is a data-oriented protocol used for communicating data across a packet-switched internetwork. ... UoSAT-12, the twelfth satellite in the University of Surrey series, was designed and built by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL). ...

SSTL will be building the sixth DMC satellite for a commercial Spanish company [1] and the seventh DMC satellite for Nigeria. [2]

External links


  1. ^ Deimos and Surrey Satellite Technology Contract for Spanish Imaging Mission, SSTL press release, 10 October 2006.
  2. ^ SSTL blog on NIGERIASAT-2, 6 November 2006.



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