NOAA 2002-062
Contact: Pat Viets
NOAA News Releases 2002
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The Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued a Request for Information seeking potential sources for commercial Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite imagery.

SAR data can be used to produce high resolution images of the Earth's lands and oceans and can also be used in all types of weather, as it can "see through" clouds and darkness. The National Ice Center uses SAR data in forecasting and analyzing sea ice to support customers with global, regional, and tactical scale interests. SAR data are also a key part of the U.S. contribution to international global climate and ocean observing systems.

Other applications of SAR data include oceanography, crop monitoring, mineral assessment and exploration, wetlands monitoring, maritime support and planning, mapping, forest and fisheries management, land use planning, and disaster management.

NOAA plans to make any eventual contract open for other government agencies who have operational requirements for SAR data, which can be useful after disasters such as earthquakes and flooding. Acquiring such data quickly without a contract in place can be difficult and time-consuming.

By issuing the Request for Information, NOAA is planning to ensure continuity of SAR data for NOAA and National Ice Center operations. "We are looking for an affordable means of ensuring continuity of this valuable data stream after the possible loss of Radarsat, which was launched in 1995 and is operating beyond its five-year design lifetime," said Helen Wood, director of NOAA's Office of Satellite Data Processing and Distribution.

"We're delighted that Radarsat is still operating well; but since these data are required for our operations, we must have arrangements in place before the possible loss of Radarsat. We are seeking a dialog with industry to explore various approaches," Wood said. "As an option, NOAA would like to use its Fairbanks, Alaska, Command and Data Acquisition Station to acquire and process SAR satellite imagery."

Companies interested in this Request for Information should consult the notice in the Federal Business Opportunities, Reference Number NE-AJF100-2-10042 at:

NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service is the nation's primary source of space-based meteorological and climate data. NOAA Satellite and Data Service operates the nation's environmental satellites, which are used for weather forecasting, climate monitoring, and other environmental applications such as fire detection, ozone monitoring, and sea surface temperature measurements. NOAA Satellite and Data Service also operates three data centers, which house global data bases in climatology, oceanography, solid earth geophysics, marine geology and geophysics, solar-terrestrial physics, and paleoclimatology.

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