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NOAA Plans for Future Satellite Observing Architecture

Jeff Brody

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration anticipates obtaining data from various government satellites and commercial sensors as it plans for its future satellite observing architecture, SpaceNews reported Monday. Karen St. Germain, director of NOAA’s office of systems architecture and advanced planning for satellite and information service, said the Joint Polar Satellite System in low-Earth orbit could feed data to the agency in the mid-2030s.

Germain noted that NOAA can look for approaches to leverage new acquisition measures and commercial technology platforms to build up data derived from JPSS and that the agency’s near-term focus is to have imagers in geostationary orbit by 2030. She said the agency started collecting data from “a half dozen” satellites operated by foreign partners in the last year, including India’s Scatterometer Satellite and Japan’s Himawari 8 weather satellite.

NOAA’s Satellite Observing System Architecture study underscored the value of imagery collection in Tundra orbits to enhance high-latitude regional observations.

“Particularly in the high latitudes, we believe we’re going to be seeing more drilling, more fishing, more tourism, more shipping,” St. Germain said. “That’s going to mean we need more situational awareness when it comes to the risks associated with weather and environmental phenomenon. That’s a capability we’re looking at in the future architecture.”

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