The NOAA Commercial Space Policy calls for NOAA to explore and pursue demonstration projects to validate the viability of adding commercial environmental data and products into NOAA’s meteorological models and to meet NOAA Earth observation requirements.
NOAA’s Commercial Weather Data Pilot (CWDP) will serve as one such demonstration project.
NOAA will evaluate commercial data to demonstrate the quality of the data and its impact to weather forecast models, and to inform NOAA’s process for ingesting, evaluating, and utilizing commercial data in the future.
Based on the findings of recent market research and FAR processes (e.g., Requests for Information), NOAA has selected GNSS radio occultation (GNSS-RO) as the most suitable data type for the CWDP.
CWDP Round 2 (2017-2018)
On June 19, NOAA hosted the fourth in its series of community engagements with the commercial space industry.
The Industry Day focused on the details of the draft RFP for CWDP Round 2 and addressed questions and comments raised during the comment period.
In addition to the open session, NOAA held one-on-one sessions with companies and interested organizations to discuss business sensitive details.
On May 26, 2017, NOAA released a draft Request for Proposals (RFP) to support Round 2 of the CWDP. The draft RFP was open for public comment through June 9, 2017.
As a follow up to the Round 1 pilot contracts for the procurement and evaluation of radio occultation data, Round 2 will extend the work of the CWDP to incorporate additional operational-like requirements for a second round of radio occultation data procurement and evaluation.
NOAA will use CWDP Round 2 to:
- Conduct an evaluation of the data’s impact on NOAA’s numerical weather prediction models that will further support the demonstration of radio occultation data; and
- Develop internal infrastructure needed to pursue procurement of commercial radio occultation data operationally.
Comments received to the draft RFP will inform development of the final RFP, anticipated for release later this summer.
CWDP Round 1 (2016-2017)
Origin & Initial Plan
FY 2016 Direction
Congress initiated the CWDP with a $3 million line item in the FY 2016 NOAA budget. The Explanatory Statement accompanying the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, included the following language:
Commercial Weather Data Pilot.—NOAA shall, through an open competitive process, seek to enter into at least one pilot contract to assess the potential viability of commercial weather data in its weather modeling and forecasting. This funding shall be used to purchase, evaluate, and calibrate available data, which meets the standards and specifications set by NOAA in its Commercial Data Policy. NOAA shall provide the Committees a report on how it plans to implement the commercial weather data pilot program not later than 60 days after the enactment of this Act.
Report to Congress
NOAA’s March 2016 report to Congress provides the initial plan to execute the CDWP, including timelines.