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 first generation DMC satellites were 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). A fifth satellite was added in 2005 to increase data capacity.
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 22 metre GSD. Radiometry was greatly enhanced to provide improved MTF and S/N. The satellites are routinely cross-calibrated within 1% of Landsat.
In 2011 NigeriaSat-2 added Very High Resolution (VHR) capability with 2.5metre GSD panchromatic and 5 metre GSD multispectral imagery and in 2018 this was boosted by imagery from the SSTL S1-4, launched in 2018.
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 Airbus CIS in the Executive Secretariat.