Steve Volz: Dedication, Professionalism Helped NOAA Overcome Weather Satellite Program Risks

Steve Volz, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Satellite and Information Office, said in an email to employees that dedication and professionalism helped NOAA overcome risks in its satellite programs, Nextgov reported Thursday.

The Government Accountability Office issued a report Wednesday stating that the effort to mitigate gaps in weather satellite data was removed from the watchdog’s annual High-Risk List of federal programs and operations vulnerable to mismanagement.

NOAA efforts to replace its aging weather satellites this year include operating the GOES-17 geostationary satellite and designating NOAA-20 as its primary polar-orbiting satellite. NOAA-20 is part of the Joint Polar Satellite System that monitors land, atmosphere and aquatic data 24/7.

The agency expects the two satellite systems to generate over 30 times more data than predecessor satellites. According to Volz, data from the satellites will help improve accuracy and timeliness in weather forecasts.

“We have maintained our commitment to continuity, today and into the future, and earned our position as the trusted source of environmental data,” he said.

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