Today, NOAA/NESDIS released a Request for Information (RFI) to support NOAA’s Commercial Weather Data Pilot. The RFI is the first step to bring radio occultation data from commercial companies to NOAA. The RFI seeks pre-launch data in order to facilitate broad participation and will gather the latest industry input as we consider what criteria will be included in a future Request for Quotation (RFQ), the next step in carrying out the Pilot.
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. The Pilot will serve as one such demonstration project, and will evaluate commercial data to demonstrate the quality of the data and its impact to weather forecast models, as well as informing NOAA’s process for ingesting, evaluating, and utilizing commercial data in the future.
In addition to the Pilot, on May 9, 2016, the Federal Register public comment period on the draft NESDIS Commercial Space Activities Assessment Process came to a close. Combined with the NOAA Commercial Space Policy, the Process will establish the principles to determine the viability of using commercial data and how to pursue those opportunities.