tron density in the ionosphere.10 NOAA has been working with the U.S. Air Force and Taiwan to develop a follow-on mission to COSMIC (which is nearing the end of its lifetime in 2012) called COSMIC-2 (C-2). C-2 would consist of a 12-satellite constellation to be launched beginning in 2015. The Air Force is making excellent progress on developing space-weather sensors and on engineering studies. Taiwan has committed to partner with NOAA on C-2 and has its funding appropriated, but NOAA has yet to commit even very modest funds for an official start. The President’s budget for FY2011 included a $3.7 million NOAA start, but after months of a continuing resolution Congress finally passed a budget without these funds. The President’s FY2012 budget contained $11.3 million for COSMIC-2, but the FY2012 appropriation did not contain any funds for a C-2 start. The estimated total cost for C-2 is $410 million, with Taiwan, NOAA, and the U.S. Air Force sharing the costs roughly equally. In early 2012, after this report was completed, the Air Force announced that it would fund at least six of the payloads for COSMIC-2 and provide a launch.

•  DSCOVR (Deep Space Climate Observatory). Although the Deep Space Climate Observatory was not a priority in the Earth science and applications from space decadal survey,11 the NOAA FY2011 budget request had $9.5 million for DSCOVR’s refurbishment, and the FY2012 request was $47.3 million. DSCOVR will be launched into an orbit around the L1 libration point, a stable gravity-neutral point approximately 1 million miles from Earth. From that location, sensors on DSCOVR would have a constant view of the day side of Earth. More commonly used for solar science investigations, the L1 libration point is an ideal vantage from which a spacecraft can monitor space weather and warn of solar storms before they hit Earth. NOAA did not receive funding for DSCOVR in FY2011; however, the FY2012 enacted budget provided $29.8 million. The U.S. Air Force will pay for the launch of DSCOVR, which is expected in 2014.12

•  CLARREO. A broad-band radiometer was also recommended in the 2007 decadal survey for the CLARREO mission, but the mission was put on hold in the FY2011 budget cycle.


As noted in Ensuring the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft,13 there are structural problems associated with the provision of climate-quality measurements from systems designed to meet national objectives more closely associated with the needs of the operational weather forecast community. At the time of the 2007 decadal survey, NPOESS lacked a transparent program for monitoring sensor calibration and performance and for verifying the products of analysis algorithms. Moreover, it lacked the direct involvement of scientists who have played a fundamental role in developing climate-quality records from spaceborne observations. Since then, NOAA has made a major commitment to scientific-data stewardship. NOAA has developed a strategy to provide for the essential characterization, calibration, stability, continuity, and data systems required to support climate applications for climate variables such as sea-surface temperature. NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center has made development of climate data records a high priority. This approach is consistent with and responsive to many NRC reports that indicate that the generation of climate data records requires considerable scientific insight, including the blending of multiple sources of data; error analysis; and access to raw data.


11The 2007 decadal survey did note that DSCOVR instruments would provide an operational solar wind monitor at L1, a high priority for the solar and space physics community. See National Research Council, The Sun to the Earth—and Beyond: A Decadal Research Strategy in Solar and Space Physics, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2003.

12The President’s requested budget for FY2013 was released to the public on February 13, 2012, after the present report was completed. Funding for DSCOVR of $22,883,000 is requested in the NOAA NESDIS budget. Assuming that the program is adequately funded, and with Air Force support for the launch vehicle, DSCOVR would be ready for launch in 2014.

13National Research Council, Ensuring the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft, 2008.

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