The DMSP series of satellites have been flown since the 1960s, but the SSIES package for thermal plasma was not included until F8 launched in June 1987. Below is a list of the orbital orientations and operational dates for the SSIES instruments on various DMSP spacecraft.
The dates above were the operational dates for the spacecraft, but some sporatic data were obtained from some of them after the end of the official operational period. There were sporatic data for F10 through mid-1998, for F11 from mid-1998 through early 2000, and for F12 from 1998 through July 2002.
This period (1987-2002) covers about about one and a half solar cycles. A plot of the F10.7 cm radio flux observations and averages which provide a proxy measurement of the solar cycle areplotted for this period in the figure below along with timelines showing the various DMSP spacecraft. (Figure courtesy of Fred Rich, AFRL).
For the initial work on this website we provide the data for the 2000 - 2002 period. Currently (May 2003) we have provided all the data for F13, F14 and F15 for the period of 1 January 2000 through 31 December 2002. We plan to continue providing ongoing data past 2002 as the data arrives here. We hope to finish the sporatic (and overall low quality) data from F12 for the 1 January 2000 through July 2002 (end of its mission) period in the near future. In addition we have a handful of other periods prior to 2000 that we have processed and put on-line. A complete list of what is currently available on-line appears below.
(last updated April 2006)