Due to the compromised data integrity with the DMSP F17 vertically polarized 37 GHz channel (37V) of the Special Sensor Microwave Imager and Sounder (SSMIS), which is a primary channel used for sea ice development, NSIDC is halting production of the Near-Real-Time DMSP SSMIS Daily Polar Gridded Sea Ice Concentrations F17 data and switching over to the F18 satellite, starting with 1 April 2016 data. However, NSIDC is still working on the calibration of the F18 data so temporarily the F18 data will be uncalibrated and using F17 tie points.
On 04/05/2016 a change in the solar panel position to shade the nitrogen tank on board the DMSP F-17 satellite was made. In doing so, the integrity of the vertically polarized 37V channel of the SSMIS was compromised. On 04/13/16 an additional change in the solar panel position was made. This change had improved the problems we were seeing in the 37V GHz channel; however, on April 20, the 37V GHz channel started to produce bad data again. Thus, a decision to use F18 data was made at that time.