The Disaster Monitoring Constellation

The Disaster Monitoring Constellation Article

The Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) is a unique earth observation satellite constellation that delivers high frequency imaging anywhere on the globe from a long established collection of satellites built by SSTL and which are each independently owned and controlled by a DMC Consortium member.  

The constellation is coordinated by DMCii, a commercial imaging company,  to deliver high quality commercial earth imaging services.

Daily Imaging capability

The first generation DMC was launched in 2002-3 to create the first constellation designed to deliver daily repeat high resolution imaging. Four satellites in phased sun-synchronous orbit delivered 650km wide multispectral imagery with 32metre ground sample distance (GSD). An additional satellite was launched in 2005, providing even greater imaging capacity, and a third 32metre sensor was added in 2012.

Enhanced resolution

The second generation of enhanced DMC satellites (launched 2009) provides hugely increased imaging capacity, retaining the same 650km swath width, but with twice the pixel density at 22metre GSD.  Radiometry has been greatly enhanced to provide improved MTF and S/N.  The satellites are routinely cross-calibrated within 1% of Landsat.  Data continuity is assured with the launch of additional capacity scheduled in 2014/5 to add 60 million km2 of imagery per day.

Very High Resolution

The DMC delivers Very High Resolution (VHR) capability with 2.5metre GSD panchromatic and 5metre GSD multispectral imagery.

International Charter 'Space and Major Disasters'

In addition to commercial activity the DMC works actively within the International Charter ‘Space and Major Disasters’ to provide free satellite imagery for humanitarian use in the event of major international disasters such as tsunamis, hurricanes, fires and flooding. The DMC is represented by the UK Space Agency on the Charter Board and by DMCii in the Executive Secretariat.

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