GAO Report on National Strategy for Earth Observation

Environmental Satellites: Strategy Needed to Sustain Critical Climate and Space Weather Measurements

GAO-10-456 April 27, 2010

Environmental satellites provide data on the earth and its space environment that are used for forecasting the weather, measuring variations in climate over time, and predicting space weather. In planning for the next generation of these satellites, federal agencies originally sought to fulfill weather, climate, and space weather requirements. However, in 2006, federal agencies restructured two key satellite acquisitions, the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) and the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R series (GOES-R). This involved removing key climate and space weather instruments. GAO was asked to (1) assess plans for restoring the capabilities that were removed from the two key satellite acquisitions, (2) evaluate federal efforts to establish a strategy for the long-term provision of satellite-provided climate data, and (3) evaluate federal efforts to establish a strategy for the longterm provision of satellite-provided space weather data. To do so, GAO analyzed agency plans and reports. …

For full text of article, visit the GAO website here.

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