requesting we explore a way to continue the operation of TRMM through the end of this year’s hurricane season, November 30, 2004.

In addition, the highly successful NOAA/NASA partnership has led NOAA to implement QUIKSCAT data in our operational models, and begin assimilating AIRS and MODIS data into operational models by the end of the year, another major success for the NASA/NOAA Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation (JCSDA). Given our growing dependence on these NASA satellite instruments, I would appreciate an opportunity to work with you to develop a more formal mechanism for dialogue with NASA well in advance of any termination date for research data streams.

I believe such a joint consultative process would also help to support the growing leadership role of the United States in the Global Earth Observing System of Systems. Making the maximum use of research and operational satellite data, as well as joint planning for transitioning successful research instruments to operational status, will demonstrate a sustained commitment to advancing earth sciences.

If you concur, I recommend for your consideration that Greg Withee, NOAA Assistant Administrator for Satellites and Information Services, dialog with Ghassem Asrar and Al Diaz, in order to find a more effective way, perhaps through a joint working group, to explore such research to operations issues as TRMM, and to recommend solutions. I look forward to enhancing the great value the NOAA/NASA partnership brings to science and the American public. With great appreciation and respect for the strong working relationship that has developed between NOAA and NASA under your leadership!

Sincerely,


Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr.

Vice Admiral,

U.S. Navy (Ret.)

Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere



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