NOAA 2002-138
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Retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will describe NOAA’s broad vision of the future of global environmental monitoring of the Earth. Lautenbacher will present a talk at the world's aerospace community’s once-in-a-decade meeting -- the World Space Congress -- at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston October 10-19.

Lautenbacher will give a presentation on “The Future Role of NOAA in Global Observation of the Earth” on October 14 at 3:45 p.m. in the Exhibition Theater. World Space Congress participants and the media are welcome to attend.

“NOAA, a Department of Commerce agency, has a unique status as the world’s largest operational environmental satellite organization,” Lautenbacher said. “For four decades, NOAA has been operating environmental satellites that are used to provide weather and climate predictions that affect farming, human health, and energy.

“An integrated Global Observing System is truly the next step in Earth science,” Lautenbacher said. He described five areas integral to achieving that system, including efficient corporate organization, technology, transitioning research into operations, partnerships, and outreach and training.

“NOAA is undergoing an internal review of its programs to better position itself to meet the future challenges of understanding our climate, ecosystem management, and habitat restoration,” Lautenbacher said. In terms of technology, “the advanced imagers and sounders that are being developed for the satellites of the future will deliver high resolution data, enabling more accurate weather and climate forecasts.”

Lautenbacher encouraged continued international cooperation in areas of disaster management, natural hazards, and understanding extreme climate events.

“As we move toward building a global observing system, we must ensure that both the satellite and in-situ communities are working together,” Lautenbacher said. “No one entity can do this alone. Even with expansive partnerships, a global observing system will not be effective without solid leadership and commitment.”

In addition to Lautenbacher, Gregory W. Withee, NOAA assistant administrator for satellite and information services, and Brent Smith, chief of International Affairs for NOAA’s satellite agency, will bring their unique expertise in remote sensing and global observing systems to the conference. Withee will participate on an international panel at a plenary event on earth observation titled “An Integrated Approach to Monitoring Planet Earth” on October 15 at 1:00 p.m.

About 13,000 attendees from 100 countries representing every facet of the international space community are expected to attend. Space offers continually expanding resources for commerce, science, technology, and education. The congress will feature topics from the discovery of distant planets to medical advancements, from geological exploration to urban planning, from water on Mars to energy sources in developing nations. Participants will also have an unprecedented look at how advances in space improve life on Earth.

Lautenbacher, Withee, and Smith will also participate in a Space Policy Summit October 11-14, at the Baker Institute on the campus of Rice University. The summit, a joint project of the institute, Lockheed Martin, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is designed to build a bridge between the world of ideas and the world of action. The summit will bring together space agency heads and industry CEOs and will offer a unique forum for reviewing and recommending initiatives for further consideration by the policymakers of the world, and by the public.

The World Space Congress is organized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

For more about the congress, please visit:

Notes to Editors:

Retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, will speak on “The Future Role of NOAA in Global Observation of the Earth” in the WSC Exhibition Theater on October 14 at 3:45 p.m.

Assistant Administrator Withee is a featured panelist at the Plenary Event on Earth Observation on October 15 at 1:00 p.m. at which an international panel will address “An Integrated Approach to Monitoring Planet Earth.” Moderator: Prof. John Townshend, University of Maryland. Panelists: Prof. Jose Achache, European Space Agency; Prof. Dong Chaohua, Chinese National Satellite Meteorological Center; Dr. Yoji Furuhama, National Space Development Agency of Japan; Dr. Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan, Indian Department of Space, Dr. Tillmann Mohr, European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, and Gregory Withee, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.