PlanetIQ Presents Congress with Solution to America’s Unprecedented Loss of Weather Data
WASHINGTON, March 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — PlanetIQ President and Chief Executive Officer Anne Hale Miglarese urged Congress to exercise its oversight of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to address systemic failures reported by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that have led to a looming gap in satellite weather and climate data. This data is vital to accurate forecasts, early warnings and the nation’s economic security.
The GAO recently placed this potential data gap on its High Risk List, estimating the gap could last 17 to 53 months or more starting as soon as 2014.
PlanetIQ’s private-sector solution includes launching a constellation of 12 small satellites in low-earth orbit to collect weather data, which the federal government could access at less cost and risk than current government-funded efforts.
Testifying before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, Miglarese said that NOAA’s adoption of a private-sector approach would:
- Improve weather forecast accuracy and warning lead times;
- Mitigate the risk of harmful gaps in satellite data;
- Relieve pressure on existing government satellite programs that are over-budget and behind schedule;
- Serve as an effective mechanism for reining in programmatic spending; and
- Create new high-tech, high-paying jobs in the private sector.
[Link: Transcript of Testimony]
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) adopted a similar data purchase model a decade ago, Miglarese explained, when the intelligence community faced a serious risk of “flying blind” due to cost overruns and schedule delays in the government’s next generation of imagery intelligence satellites. NGA awarded multi-year contracts that provided a steady stream of revenue for commercial satellite imagery companies in exchange for an affordable and consistent supply of high-quality imagery for civilian and military purposes.
“This was their risk mitigation strategy, one that not only served them well then and continues to do so, but also got a nascent U.S. industry off the ground. Today, that industry is a $2 billion global market,” Miglarese said.
A similar approach by NOAA, Miglarese argued, would “spark a new American industry of commercial sources for weather and environmental data, and at the same time ensure the accuracy and advanced warning we have come to depend on for protecting lives, properties, economies and critical infrastructure.”
“Private capital is ready and waiting,” Miglarese said. “But the government’s culture of build-and-own-your-own satellites and the inability to commit is what’s holding back these job-creating funds.”
PlanetIQ represents a new model of collaboration between public and private stakeholders, one that leverages private funds to field new observing systems quickly and at lower cost, in order to sustain and increase collection of the environmental data required for accurate forecasts, early warnings and informed decisions.
For more information, please visit www.planetiq.com.
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