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Steven Volz: NOAA Eyes Commercial, Int’l Partners as ‘Alternative Sources’ of Satellite Weather Data

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Steven Volz

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has begun to consider the use of satellite-based weather data from commercial sources and international partners in an effort to address potential budget cuts to NOAA’s weather satellite initiatives, Space News reported Monday.

Jeff Foust writes Steven Volz, assistant administrator for satellite and information services at NOAA, said in an interview Monday at the 33rd Space Symposium that NOAA considers buying commercial data through a second round of a pilot program for such data should the agency secure funds under the FY 2017 supplemental spending bill.

Volz noted that NOAA also plans to gain access to satellite data from the European Commission through the latter’s Copernicus program.

“They provide very valuable high-quality measurements that we may be able to leverage as well,” he said of the commission’s Copernicus program.

Volz’s remarks came after the White House released its fiscal 2018 budget proposal that aims to generate annual savings from NOAA’s Polar Follow On program that funds the development of future Joint Polar Satellite System platforms after JPSS-2.

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