Weather Act Addresses Commercial Satellite Data and Hosted Payloads
On April 18, President Trump signed the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017.
Section 302 authorizes the Commerce Department to enter into agreements for commercial weather data purchases and hosted payload arrangements.
The legislation requires NOAA to prepare a strategy on commercial weather data procurement and authorizes NOAA to enter into multiyear agreements to carry it out.
The act requires NOAA to publish standards and specifications for space-based commercial weather data, including radio occultation data and geostationary hyperspectral sounder data.
It directs NOAA, and authorizes funds, to implement a pilot program to evaluate commercial weather data for use in NOAA meteorological models.
If the pilot demonstrates the feasibility of commercial data, the act directs NOAA to begin operational data buys and consider them as an alternative to future NOAA space systems.
Finally, the act upholds NOAA’s commitments to WMO Resolution 40 on international data sharing.