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Feb 16 2015

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The red-headed stepchild that is NOAA

NOAA Downplays Weather Satellite Gap, House Committee Wants Commercial Data Buys.

This was a refreshing take for a Congress critter:

Several members advocated incorporating purchases of commercial weather data into the next generation weather satellite architecture. Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), chairman of the Environment Subcommittee, said the government must “look outside the box” and cited several companies – PlanetIQ, Spire, GeoOptics, Tempus Global Data and HySpecIQ – planning to deliver GPS radio occultation or hyperspectral atmospheric data that could augment weather forecasts.

Volz spoke positively about using commercial data as long as NOAA is confident it is accurate, reliable, and can be validated. It already purchases some commercial data, including lightning data and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite data. He noted that NASA works in concert with other countries in developing global numerical weather prediction models and the data must be readily transferable to and usable by all those countries. He said NOAA plans a workshop at the end of April with interested companies to discuss steps toward creating an effective working relationship.

There is no reason why the commercial world can’t handle the satellite part of weather observation, with NOAA purchasing the commercial data products instead of building and maintaining their own constellations.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/02/16/the-red-headed-stepchild-that-is-noaa/

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