Table of Contents
Department of Defense
Federal Aviation Administration
Department of Commerce
Department of Energy
Department of Interior
Federal Communications Commission
National Science Foundation
Department of State
Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
U.S. Information Agency
Aeronautics and Space Report Department of Commerce

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) new generation of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) spacecraft continued to provide two-satellite operational environmental monitoring throughout FY 1997. GOES-10 was launched April 25, 1997. NOAA's Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) program, which also consists of two primary satellites, NOAA-12 and 14 (with three older spacecraft serving as backup), covered the globe at least twice daily, monitoring weather, forest fires, volcanoes, and other environmental dangers. NOAA moved forward with DoD and NASA on plans to converge into a single system the civilian POES program with the DoD's polar Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP). Toward this end, NOAA completed a refurbishment of its satellite control center at Suitland, Maryland, which will allow for single-entity control of POES and DMSP operations.

NOAA continued generating satellite remote-imaging data products from its own and DoD satellites, providing innovative access to these data online. Of note were four new GOES products (moisture soundings, high-density winds, derived product imagery, and daily snow cover products) and one POES product (an experimental drought index product). The four GOES products will be operationally implemented for use by the National Weather Service. The Department of Agriculture found the drought index extremely useful in monitoring agricultural production in critical regions of the world. NOAA also continued to promote the President's 1994 policy to foster growth of the commercial remote-sensing industry, by issuing another license (bringing the total to 12) to operate private remote-sensing systems and by approving two other associated foreign agreements and amendments.

GOES 10 Launch

GOES-10 launch.

In the area of satellite-aided search and rescue, NOAA continued to operate the U.S. Cospas-Sarsat Mission Control Center, which receives alert data from U.S. and Russian satellites and provides the information to the appropriate U.S. or foreign rescue coordination center. In FY 1997, NOAA continued its work with NASA to integrate French and Canadian Sarsat instrumentation on the current series of POES satellites. NOAA also participated in a productive international demonstration and evaluation of the use of geostationary satellites, such as NOAA's GOES satellites, as a potential enhancement to the international Cospas-Sarsat program.

On the international front, NOAA personnel negotiated with the European Union (EU) for the Exploration of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) for a joint polar satellite system, taking into account, on the U.S. side, the converged civil-military U.S. system. This agreement was expected to be signed in FY 1998. On March 31, 1997, NOAA, NASA, and Japan's National Space Development Agency (NASDA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Japan's Advanced Earth Observing Satellite-II (ADEOS-II) program. NOAA, together with NASA, worked to further develop the Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS) with international space and Earth observing agencies, hosting the first meeting of the IGOS Strategic Implementation Team in February 1997, at which senior officials commissioned the development of six prototype projects to test the IGOS concept.

DoC's Office of Air and Space Commercialization (OASC) ensured that U.S. commercial space interests were represented in the formulation of space-related Government policies and agreements. OASC personnel represented DoC in discussions with the governments of Japan, Russia, and the European Community regarding the harmonization and integration of the GPS for worldwide civil and scientific applications. DoC focused on the potential international GPS market and advocated the removal of potential nontariff trade barriers to maintain continuous growth in the GPS market. OASC participated, as senior representatives of DoC, in the annual consultations led by the U.S. Trade Representative under the bilateral commercial space launch trade agreements with the governments of China, Russia, and Ukraine.

The International Trade Administration (ITA)'s Office of Aerospace (OA) also contributed to the annual consultations of the commercial space launch agreements that the United States has signed with Russia, China and Ukraine. The OA participated in discussions with the EU under a 1992 agreement on Trade in Large Civil Aircraft and with a World Trade Organization Subgroup, the GATT Aircraft Committee. The OA also provided support for U.S.-Japanese, U.S.-Russian, and U.S.-European discussions on the worldwide use of GPS. To promote the export of U.S. aerospace products, OA sponsored the partially privatized U.S. National Pavilion at the Paris Air Show. OA also sponsored six aerospace product literature centers at major international aerospace exhibitions and air shows. OA also worked with ITA's Advocacy Center on numerous international aerospace competitions, including helicopters, commercial transport aircraft, and space launch vehicles. OA participated in the aerospace-related subgroups of the U.S.-Russia Business Development Committee and U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade. In addition, OA worked with the Trade Development Agency to conduct reverse trade missions to the United States from Spain and Argentina.

ITA's Office of Telecommunications (OT) participated in negotiations with the government of Argentina on satellite services. OT also provided sector expertise to ITA's Advocacy Center for several major satellite companies. OT commissioned a study on commercial applications of GPS and the international competitiveness of the U.S. industry. OT provided business counseling services to numerous satellite companies seeking to do business abroad.

As the lead advisory agency for Federal Government telecommunications issues, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (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 Organization (INTELSAT) and the International Mobile Satellite Organization (INMARSAT). While the Federal Communications Commission continued to regulate the electromagnetic spectrum for commercial users, NTIA managed the Federal Government's use of the spectrum and helped clear unexpected regulatory hurdles. NTIA engineers were instrumental in developing a national plan to augment the navigation signals of GPS for the benefit of a wide variety of civilian and commercial users.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology performed a wide variety of research in support of aeronautics and space activities during FY 1997. The institute received funding from NASA Headquarters and seven NASA Centers for 43 projects, totaling $4.4 million in research and development activities.

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