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FCW : September 30, 2013
Using data from Chinese satellites might be the closest thing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administra- tion has to a "silver bullet" x for a potential gap in polar-orbiting weather satellite coverage. But relying on China could run into practical and political dif culties, and a key appropriator said he has serious concerns about any such plan. A NOAA-commissioned study examined 44 potential solutions to an expected gap that could occur as early as 2014 between NOAA s exist- ing satellites and its next-generation $13 billion Joint Polar Satellite Sys- tem (JPSS), which is not scheduled to launch its rst satellite until 2017. The gap could have a signi cant effect on weather forecasts and has national security implications because the Defense Department, which has its own aging polar-orbiting satellite program, currently relies on data from NOAA to help position its spy satellites. FCW obtained a copy of the NOAA study, titled "JPSS Gap Mitigation Anal- ysis of Alternatives." It was completed in February but not released publicly. The study describes the China option "as potentially the sole sil- ver bullet among the ideas, one that would require a partnership with the Chinese to allow the use of the Feng Yun 3 data.... The idea is most attrac- tive because the satellites provide nom- inally the same information and will reside in approximately the same orbit as will JPSS-1, and new satellites will be launched well before the projected gap in NOAA polar satellite coverage." U.S. of cials have not been keen on Today s weather forecast, brought to you by China? FCW CALENDAR Geospatial Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Adm. William McRaven of the U.S. Special Operations Command and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Director Letitia Long are keynote speakers at GEOINT 2013. Tampa, Fla. http://is.gd/ fuko cloud service providers are now FedRAMP-certi ed. Akamai Technologies announced provisional approval on Aug. 27. 9 Trending sourcing contracts to companies tied to China, especially in the IT arena, so relying on Chinese satellites for vital information might be a tough sell. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) recently included language in a funding bill that would restrict NASA, the National Sci- ence Foundation, and the departments of Justice and Commerce from acquir- ing IT systems that include any compo- nents from companies "owned, direct- ed or subsidized" by China. NOAA is part of Commerce. "It is my understanding that NOAA has proposed several options to ll potential gaps in weather satellite data," Wolf told FCW. "I would have very serious concerns about any option involving China.... The committee will work closely with NOAA to encour- age alternative options that would not expose our systems to potential threats." The study identi es 12 "high-merit" ideas for NOAA to consider. Howev- er, a NOAA of cial not authorized to speak publicly told FCW that although mitigating the gap is possible, no com- bination of actions could fully replace the loss of the agency s polar-orbiting satellites. NOAA declined to comment on the speci cs of the report. An agency of cial told FCW that "based on security concerns, NOAA believes that this would be a 'whole- of-government decision, possibly involving the Department of State, the Department of Defense and the U.S. Congress. It would not be solely a NOAA decision." --- Frank Konkel Electronic health records The Defense Department's Frank Kendall and Lorraine Landfried of the Department of Veterans Affairs are among the of cials scheduled to discuss health IT in the Military Health System. Washington, D.C. http://is.gd/uxeyuw 10/13-16 9/30-10/1 AP IMAGES September 30, 2013 FCW.COM 3 Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) has raised concerns about a proposal to use Chinese technology to fill a projected gap in U.S. weather satellites.
September 15, 2013
October 30, 2013