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The Declassified Intelligence Satellite Photographs (DISP) Yearly Satellite Photographic Mosaics of Greenland are composites of black-and-white photographs of Greenland taken from American satellites in 1962 and 1963. The mosaics provide details of ice sheet morphology, glaciers, rock outcrops, the coastline, and other features. The image mosaics are useful for comparing the extent and internal configuration of the Greenland ice sheet with current satellite data. The data set consists of one tagged image file (.TIF) for each year.
The mosaic images are available via FTP. The files are large: the 1962 mosaic image dimensions are 17,092 by 28,484 pixels and the file size is 464.3 MB. The 1963 image dimensions are 17,792 by 27,805 pixels and the file size is 471.8 MB.
Zhou, G., Jezek, K. DISP Yearly Satellite Photographic Mosaics of Greenland 1962-1963. Boulder, CO: National Snow and Ice Data Center. Digital media.
|Data format||Tagged image file (.TIF), one byte per pixel|
|Spatial coverage and resolution||Greenland, 140-m resolution|
|Temporal coverage||1962-05-15 through 1962-05-19, and 1963-08-29 through 1963-09-01|
|Tools for accessing data||Most browsers, graphics, or image editing applications will display the .TIF images|
|Grid type and size||Polar stereographic map projection|
|File naming convention||Naming convention is based on the year of the original photographs: DISP62_grlnd.tif and DISP63_grlnd.tif|
|File size||1962 image dimensions are 17,092 by 28,484 pixels, file size is 464.3 MB. The 1963 image dimensions are 17,792 by 27,805 pixels, file size is 471.8 MB|
|Parameter(s)||Compile archive photographs|
|Procedures for obtaining data||Data are available via FTP|
Dr. Guoqing Zhou
Department of Civil Engineering and Technology
Old Dominion University
Kaufman Hall, Rm 214
Norfolk, VA 23529
Dr. Kenneth C. Jezek
Department of Geological Sciences
and Byrd Polar Research Center
The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH 43210
NSIDC User Services
National Snow and Ice Data Center
CIRES, 449 UCB
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309-0449 USA
phone: +1 303.492.6199
fax: +1 303.492.2468
form: Contact NSIDC User Services
This research work is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Polar Programs (OPP) and a NASA Center of Excellence Grant for Historical Satellite Data.
The mosaics are tagged image files (TIFs).
Naming convention is based on the year of the original photographs: DISP62_grlnd.tif and DISP63_grlnd.tif
1962 image dimensions are 17,092 by 28,484 pixels, file size is 464.3 MB. The 1963 image dimensions are 17,792 by 27,805 pixels, file size is 471.8 MB
1962 Mosaic Coverage:
|x (km)||y (km)|
1963 Mosaic Coverage:
|x (km)||y (km)|
A low-resolution thumbnail of the 1962 image mosaic
A low-resolution thumbnail of the 1963 image mosaic
Images in these mosaics have resolutions (pixel size equivalent) of 100 m.
polar stereographic map projection
WGS84 spheroid and datum
longitude of central meridian: 315
latitude of true scale: 70 N
false easting (meters): 0
false northing (meters): 0
The first mosaic consists of images taken in May, 1962. The second mosaic consists of images taken in August and September, 1963.
The cameras mounted on the ARGON satellite had a wide field of view, approximately 59°, which causes some image distortion. Because of the large area (2,800 km by 1,600 km) covered by each mosaic image, there is high earth-curvature distortion.
Data are available via FTP.
There is no fee to obtain the data.
In 1962 and 1963, the U.S. reconnaissance satellite ARGON recorded photographic images of Greenland. These and thousands of other images became available to the public in 1995 through an executive order signed by President Clinton. The principal investigators (PIs), Guoqing Zhou and Ken Jezek, developed the images to create a mosaic image of Greenland for each year. They used the Digital SAR Mosaic and Elevation Map of the Greenland Ice Sheet as control data.
Photographs were digitized and assembled into mosaics. Geometric distortions were corrected by using ground control points and the camera model in ERDAS IMAGINE software to orthorectify the images. The images were then resampled to a 100-m pixel size. Radiometric balancing and blending operations corrected for radiometric variations, using IMAGINE and ARCInfo software and proprietary algorithms and programs.
The photographs provide high ground resolution (about 140 m) and extensive coverage. Ground swath is 556 km by 556 km. Many of the photographs contained cloud cover, so the investigators used photographs with the least amount of cloud cover.
Sensors were specially designed K-H 5 frame cameras that captured black-and-white photographs. These cameras were designed to ph maintain a precise geometrical relationship between the lens and the film. The film was brought into contact with the square frame of the inner lens cone prior to exposure.
The 1962 mosaic consists of 24 orthorectified images from eight orbits acquired during the ARGON 9034A mission during 15-19 May, 1962. The 1963 mosaic is made of 36 orthorectified images from 14 orbits acquired during the ARGON 9058A mission in 29 August - 1 September, 1963.
The United States government launched the secret reconnaissance satellites in the 1960s. The imagery was declassified on February 24, 1995 by President Clinton in the Executive Order "RELEASE OF IMAGERY ACQUIRED BY SPACE-BASED NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE RECONNAISSANCE SYSTEMS." The U.S. Geological Survey archives the original data.
The DISP black and white films were digitized at 7μm resolution using a high-resolution scanner. The mosaic method required the latitude and longitude of the central point and four corner points for each image and a 70 percent overlap of neighboring images. The PIs applied corrections for geometric and radiometric distortions. See Processing Steps for the procedures they used.
The investigators used several steps to orthorectify the images and correct for geometric and radiometric distortions.
Zhou, G. and K. Jezek, 2002. Satellite photographic mosaics of Greenland from the 1960s era. Int. J. Remote Sensing, vol. 23, no. 6, p. 1143-1159.
Zhou, G., K. Jezek, W. Wright, and J. Granger, 2002. Orthorectification of 1960s Satellite Photographs Covering Greenland. IEEE Trans. Geosci. and Rem Sens, vol 40, no 6, p. 1247-1259.
Slater, Philip N., Robert G. Reeves, editor-in-chief. Manual of remote sensing. 1st ed. Am. Soc. of Photogrammetry, 1975, vol. 1. Falls Church, VA.
The following acronyms and abbreviations are used in this document.
|DEM||Digital Elevation Model|
|DISP||Declassified Intelligence Satellite Photographs|
|ERS-1||European Remote Sensing Satellite|
|NIMA||National Imagery and Mapping Association|
|NSF OPP||National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs|
|SAR||Synthetic Aperture Radar|
07 January 2003
31 January 2003
27 January 2003