Environmental Satellites: Focused Attention Needed to Improve Mitigation Strategies for Satellite Coverage Gaps

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has made progress on both the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) and Geostationary Operational Environment Satellite-R series (GOES-R) programs, but key challenges remain to ensure that potential gaps in satellite data are minimized or mitigated. On the JPSS program, NOAA has made noteworthy progress in using Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) data in weather forecasts and developing the JPSS-1 satellite. However, NOAA does not expect to validate key S-NPP products until nearly 3 years after the satellite's launch, and there are remaining ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. September 19, 2013.

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has made progress on both the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) and Geostationary Operational Environment Satellite-R series (GOES-R) programs, but key challenges remain to ensure that potential gaps in satellite data are minimized or mitigated. On the JPSS program, NOAA has made noteworthy progress in using Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) data in weather forecasts and developing the JPSS-1 satellite. However, NOAA does not expect to validate key S-NPP products until nearly 3 years after the satellite's launch, and there are remaining issues with the JPSS schedule that decrease the confidence that JPSS-1 will launch by March 2017 as planned. On the GOES-R program, progress in completing the system's design has been accompanied by continuing milestone delays, including delays in the launch dates for both the GOES-R and GOES-S satellites. The potential for further milestone delays also exists due to remaining weaknesses in developing and maintaining key program schedules. Faced with an anticipated gap in the polar satellite program and a potential gap in the geostationary satellite program, NOAA has taken steps to study alternatives and establish mitigation plans. However, the agency does not yet have comprehensive contingency plans that identify specific actions with defined timelines, and triggers. Until NOAA establishes comprehensive contingency plans that addresses these shortfalls, its plans for mitigating potential gaps may not be effective in avoiding significant impacts to its weather mission."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • September 19, 2013

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Environmental Satellites: Focused Attention Needed to Improve Mitigation Strategies for Satellite Coverage Gaps, text, September 19, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc299177/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.