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GAO: DoD, NOAA Should Coordinate to Ensure Continued Weather Satellite Data Access

satelliteThe Government Accountability Office has urged the Defense Department to collaborate with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to address a looming gap in weather data coverage from U.S. government and international partner satellites.

GAO said Thursday it found a lack of coordination between DoD and NOAA has limited the department’s analysis of alternative space-based environmental monitoring platforms for military agencies to obtain cloud characterization and theater weather imagery.

DoD also faced pressure to complete its AOA study on schedule to inform decision-making and budget planning for near-term SBEM capability needs, according to the government watchdog.

The department plans to continue using the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program as well as some European and Indian Ocean satellites as a short-term strategy to prevent SBEM data access problems for U.S. civilian, military and intelligence agencies.

GAO recommended that the Defense Secretary establish a formal system that would encourage DoD-NOAA collaboration on the matter and ensure accountability for both organizations.

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