Department of Commerce (DoC) is responsible for promoting
U.S. commercial interests in both domestic and international
markets. During FY 1998, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA), the Office of Air and Space Commercialization
(OASC), the International Trade Administration (ITA),
the National Telecommunications and Information Agency
(NTIA), and the National Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST) engaged in a wide variety of space-related
activities to ensure U.S. economic growth, development,
and competitiveness in the global marketplace.
successfully launched NOAA-K (15), the first of its new
series of polar-orbiting satellites, on May 13, 1998. NOAA-15
is the first in a series of five satellites with improved
imaging and sounding capabilities that will operate over
the next 12 years and will collect meteorological and environmental
data and transmit information to users around the world.
On May 29, 1998, as part of the convergence of the U.S.
polar satellites under the National Polar-orbiting Operational
Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS), NOAA assumed operational
responsibility for the Defense Meteorological Satellite
Program (DMSP) from the U.S. Air Force. With respect to
the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)
program, NOAA took operational responsibility of the GOES-10
satellite, which had been launched in 1997, and placed it
into an onorbit storage mode for use as an "onorbit spare"
satellite, should one of the two operational satellites
(GOES-8 or GOES-9) fail. In April 1998, when GOES-9 (GOES
West) started to experience anomalies, NOAA personnel brought
GOES-10 back into onorbit operational mode to provide meteorological
coverage with minimal impact to the Nation's weather forecasting.
NOAA personnel continued to conduct both the polar satellitesthose
of DMSP and the Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental
Satellite (POES) programand GOES program operations
from the Suitland, Maryland, satellite control center.
National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information
Services (NESDIS) continued its involvement in the Landsat
Program Management group, comprised of NESDIS, NASA, and
the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). NOAA, NASA, and the USGS
cohosted the 27th Landsat Ground Station Operations Working
Group in May 1998, as well as conducted a Special Technical
Session on Landsat 7 operations. NESDIS continued negotiations
with 18 international ground stations interested in signing
Landsat 7 MOU's to receive data directly from the spacecraft.
NESDIS continued to work with the 11 international ground
stations that are currently part of the Landsat 4/5 program.
NOAA's NESDIS, research and data centers made significant
progress toward utilizing the World Wide Web as a means
to meet national and global customer data demands. The three
data centersthe National Climatic Data Center, the
National Geophysical Data Center, and the National Oceanographic
Data Centersurpassed prior records for fulfilling
data requests from the public and the research community.
NESDIS personnel continued to develop new products for public
and Government use. National Climatic Data Center personnel
participated in a number of global climate change studies
in which long-term data revealed significant anomalies in
global land-surface temperature. The National Geophysical
Data Center continued its geophysical and paleo-environmental
work, as well as applications of the DMSP data to develop
global nighttime lights and global fire products.
Washington, D.C., Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) within
NOAA began operations in November 1997. One purpose of the
VAAC is to provide to the aviation and volcanology community
virtually real-time analysis of satellite products to support
volcanic ash eruptions. In addition to providing operational
messages about other eruptions in its area of responsibility,
the VAAC provided more than 435 advisory messages for the
Soufriere Hills volcano in Montserrat, West Indies. This
VAAC is the largest of nine worldwide and is operated under
the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization and
the International Civil Aviation Organization. NESDIS provided
operational satellite-derived fire support for wildfires
in Indonesia, Mexico, Central America, and Brazil at the
request of the U.S. Agency for International Development,
the Department of State, the U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA) Forest Service, and the governments of Mexico and
Brazil. NESDIS personnel also provided satellite-derived
products to support fire-suppression activities to local
firefighting units in southern Florida.
the area of commercial licensing, NESDIS published a Notice
of Proposed Rulemaking on private remote-sensing regulations
in November 1997 and held a public meeting to solicit comments
on the proposed regulations in April 1998. NESDIS issued
its first Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) license, issued
two license amendments, and approved six international agreements.
In response to statutory requirements on the commercial
imagery of Israel, NESDIS worked with an interagency group
to develop and publish the 2-meter imaging limitation.
FY 1998, the Administrators of NOAA and NASA signed a basic
agreement on behalf of the two agencies concerning collaborative
programs. This was an umbrella agreement covering 12 MOU's,
some of which also involved international partners. In addition,
the NOAA and NASA Administrators signed an MOU with the
secretary of the Indian Department of Space for science
cooperation in the areas of Earth and atmospheric sciences.
The Indian MOU will provide for real-time exchange of Indian
geostationary satellite data (from INSAT) within the context
of cooperative activities in the Earth and atmospheric sciences.
in the international arena, NOAA completed amendments to
the Argos MOU Amendment with France's Centre Nationale d'Etudes
Spatiales (CNES) to cover instruments on the future NOAA-N'
(N prime) satellite. NESDIS participated in a number of
bilateral activities with the Canadian Space Agency for
Radarsat I/II, the National Space Development Agency (NASDA)
of Japan for the Advanced Land Observing Satellite and Advanced
Earth Observing Satellite II systems. Negotiators made significant
progress on the proposed Integrated Joint Polar Systems
with the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological
Satellites (EUMETSAT) for instruments on future polar satellites
as part of the NPOESS program.
also participated in many activities associated with the
Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) at the
plenary, working group, and project levels. NESDIS chaired
the Disaster Management Support Project in connection with
CEOS and the Integrated Global Observing Strategy and held
a number of meetings in Europe, Asia, and the United States
aimed at gathering information from space agencies and disaster/emergency
managers about their current use of satellite data and their
at DoC, OASC continued efforts to foster an economic and
policy environment that promotes the global preeminence
of the U.S. commercial space industry. OASC served as an
advocate for the U.S. commercial satellite imaging industry
during high-level interagency meetings on U.S. remote-sensing
policy regarding Canada, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea,
Russia, and Spain. The office also worked in coordination
with other DoC bureaus to serve U.S. commercial interests
in the areas of GPS and launch services.
a member of the Interagency GPS Executive Board (IGEB),
DoC contributed significantly to major U.S. decisions affecting
the future of GPS. NOAA, OASC, and the NTIA participated
in the decisionmaking processes that led to and stemmed
from the March 1998 commitment to add new civilian capabilities
to GPS, as announced by Vice President Al Gore. In particular,
NOAA and OASC cochaired an interagency working group established
by the IGEB to develop a strategy for funding GPS as a national
priority. NOAA also led the collection and documentation
of civilian requirements for GPS modernization. With respect
to GPS radio spectrum, NTIA played an essential role in
conducting technical studies, supporting both the GPS modernization
effort and the U.S. position at the World Radio Conference.
DoC officials also served on U.S. delegations that met with
Japan and the European Union to negotiate agreements intended
to establish GPS as a worldwide standard. The consultations
with Japan culminated in a joint statement on GPS cooperation
signed by President Bill Clinton and Japanese Prime Minister
Keizo Obuchi in September 1998.
and ITA represented the interests of U.S. launch and satellite
industries during annual consultations with China, Russia,
and the Ukraine on commercial space launch services. In
October 1997, DoC participated in the negotiation and signing
of an amendment to the U.S.-China agreement covering price
guidelines for launches to LEO.
Office of Aerospace also participated in discussions with
the European Union concerning government support for the
development of new civil aircraft programs. ITA, in concert
with other agencies, undertook efforts to advance U.S. trade
interests regarding regulatory measures in Europe that could
restrict U.S. exports. ITA also participated in discussions
with Russia and the Ukraine to encourage them to sign the
GATT Agreement on Trade in Civil Aircraft as a part of their
World Trade Organization (WTO) accession. In the Asia-Pacific
Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, ITA sought to advance
a proposal aimed at eliminating aircraft tariffs imposed
by APEC members. ITA served on a U.S. delegation that met
with Russia to discuss the implementation of tariff waivers
on civil aircraft. ITA also supported efforts of the U.S.-China
Joint Committee on Commerce and Trade to expand intergovernmental
cooperation and trade in civil aviation and airports.
promote the export of U.S. aerospace products, ITA sponsored
Aerospace Product Literature Centers at major international
aerospace exhibitions and air shows in Berlin, Chile, China,
Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, South Africa, Singapore, and the United
Kingdom. Trade leads generated through this literature center
concept numbered more than 7,500. ITA also supported U.S.
firms in international aerospace competitions, including
those for helicopters, commercial transport aircraft, and
space launch vehicles.
Office of Telecommunications continued its work to support
U.S. access to satellite markets overseas through a variety
of bilateral and multilateral initiatives. Under the WTO
Agreement on Basic Telecommunications Services, the Office
of Telecommunications supported the U.S. Trade Representative's
office in monitoring several aspects of the agreement, including
provisions relating to market access for satellite service
providers. ITA supported the inclusion of certain satellite
products in the Information Technology Agreement II, with
the goal of reducing tariffs and facilitating increased
trade. ITA sought to increase market access for U.S. companies
through its support for the U.S.-Argentina Satellite Services
Agreement, which was signed in June 1998. ITA also endeavored
to open Japan's direct-to-home satellite services market
for U.S. companies through the U.S.-Japan Enhanced Initiative
on Deregulation and Competition Policy. Also with regard
to Japan, ITA monitored compliance with the 1990 U.S.-Japan
Satellite Procurement Agreement.
developed updated market data and projections on the sales
of satellite services and equipment, space transportation
services, and other space-related goods and services for
inclusion in the 1999 U.S. Industry and Trade Outlook. ITA
also released a major study of market trends and growth
in the commercial GPS industry.
the lead advisory agency for Federal Government telecommunications
issues, NTIA undertook a number of policy initiatives regarding
satellites and other space-based communications systems.
Specifically, NTIA provided policy guidance on the restructuring
of the International Telecommunications Satellite (INTELSAT)
Organization and the International Mobile Satellite (INMARSAT)
Organization. NTIA continued to manage the Federal Government's
use of the radio spectrum, including assignments for NASA,
DoD, NOAA, and other Government satellite programs. NTIA
worked closely with other U.S. regulatory authorities and
commercial satellite users at the ITU World Radio Conference
to secure spectrum allocations for satellite systems in
frequency bands above 15 gigahertz (GHz).
performed a wide variety of metrology-related research in
support of aeronautics and space activities during FY 1998.
NIST scientists and engineers worked in collaboration with
their counterparts in eight NASA Centers on more than 50
projects. NIST supplied the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
with time and frequency reference services for the Deep
Space Network, using the NIST atomic clock, and collaborated
with NASA scientists on the development of a laser-cooled
cesium clock for scientific and technical applications in
space. NIST evaluated chemical kinetic data in support of
NASA's upper atmospheric research program and provided calibration
services for NASA's EOS. NIST worked closely with NASA scientists
on developing space telescope imaging spectrograph and spectral
and photometric imaging systems. Finally, several scientists
from NASA Centers conducted joint experiments with NIST
staff, using the NIST Cold Neutron Facility at the Center
for Neutron Research and the NIST Synchrotron Ultraviolet