[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 223 (Monday, November 19, 2012)]
[Pages 69436-69437]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-28190]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

JPSS Polar Satellite--Gap Mitigation--Request for Public Comment

AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 
Department of Commerce (DOC).

ACTION: Request for public comment.


SUMMARY: NOAA has long been concerned about the potential for a gap in 
polar satellite coverage in the afternoon orbit. In addition to reports 
from Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office on this 
topic, NOAA has also convened an Independent Review Team (IRT) to 
review the progress of our satellite programs and identify the 
challenges ahead. These reports have all substantiated NOAA's concerns 
regarding the gap.
    NOAA is taking positive steps to mitigate the negative impacts to 
NOAA's numerical weather forecasts that could be introduced by a lack 
of polar satellite data. To this end, NOAA has commissioned an 
investigative study to broadly explore all available options, such as 
substitute satellite observations, alternative non-satellite data, 
weather modeling, and data assimilation improvements. NOAA is convening 
teams of internal and external experts, industry leaders, foreign 
partners, and academia to study each of these areas.
    As a part of this effort, and to ensure we examine all potential 
solutions, NOAA is also seeking comments, suggestions, and innovative 
ideas from the public on how to preserve the quality and timeliness of 
NOAA's numerical weather forecasts should we experience a loss of polar 
satellite environmental data. Through this web portal, the public can 
submit ideas, review submissions from other parties, and make comments 
and collaborate on ideas.

DATES: Comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on December 19, 2012.

[[Page 69437]]

ADDRESSES: Additional information as well as instructions on how to 
submit comments can be found at the following Web site: 
www.osd.noaa.gov/JPSSGAP For individuals who do not have access to the 
Internet, comments may be submitted in writing to: NOAA Satellite and 
Information Service, Advanced Satellite Planning and Technology Office, 
c/o Mr. David Hermreck, 1335 East-West Highway--6th Floor, Silver 
Spring, Maryland 20910.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. David Hermreck, NOAA Satellite and 
Information Service, 1335 East-West Highway, 6th Floor, Silver Spring, 
Maryland 20910. (Phone: 301-713-9801, [email protected]).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Proprietary information will not be 
accepted. All submitted comments will be available for public 
    The Independent Review Team report can be found at: http://science.house.gov/noaa-nesdis-independent-review-team-report.
    The response from the Acting Secretary of Commerce can be found at: 
    The NOAA Administrator's response to the IRT report can be found 
at: http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2012/pdfs/UNSEC%20satellite%20oversight%20decision%20memo%20final%20signed%20(2).p
    Information on NOAA's Weather mission can be found at http://www.weather.gov/about.
    Information on NOAA's satellite programs can be found at: http://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/SatInformation.html.

Charles Baker,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Satellite and Information Services, 
National Environmental Satellite Data, and Information Service, 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
[FR Doc. 2012-28190 Filed 11-16-12; 8:45 am]