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NOAA Seeks to Leverage Foreign Satellite Constellations

National Oceanic and

Atmospheric Agency

NOAA Seeks to Leverage Foreign Satellite Constellations

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency wants to enhance its satellite observation capabilities by partnering with other meteorological government organizations, including foreign ones.

According to one official, European and Asian satellite constellations can benefit the new portfolio approach of NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, SpaceNews reported Tuesday.

NESDIS Assistant Administrator Stephen Volz said the agency wants to explore how foreign constellations can offer “the best mix and match of instruments and observations in the coming years.”

The partners include the European Space Agency, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, NASA and the U.S. Space Force.

According to Volz, NESDIS’ new portfolio approach is less focused on building one highly capable satellite at a time and more on ensuring that all parts of the observation infrastructure work together.

NESDIS, which is tasked with operating and managing the government’s environmental satellite programs, has been heavily investing in its new generation of satellites and ground systems.

In April, NESDIS transitioned a portion of the Joint Polar Satellite System‘s operational data processing ground system to the cloud, reducing the program’s hardware footprint.

JPSS is the agency’s new polar-orbiting operational environmental satellite system whose satellites are used for monitoring global atmospheric, terrestrial and oceanic conditions.

Data collected by JPSS helps researchers predict severe weather events and assess environmental hazards. NOAA distributes the JPSS data downstream to government users, including the Department of Defense, the National Weather Service and the Federal Aviation Administration.

NESDIS Chief Information Officer Irene Parker said her team met its cloud migration timeline in the face of the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Category: Space