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Title 15 Part 911

Title 15 → Subtitle B → Chapter IX → Subchapter A → Part 911

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 15 Part 911

e-CFR data is current as of June 15, 2018

Title 15Subtitle BChapter IXSubchapter A → Part 911


Title 15: Commerce and Foreign Trade


PART 911—POLICIES AND PROCEDURES CONCERNING USE OF THE NOAA SPACE-BASED DATA COLLECTION SYSTEMS

§911.1   Purpose.

These regulations set forth the procedural, informational and technical requirements for use of the NOAA Data Collection Systems (DCS). In addition, they establish the criteria NOAA will employ when making determinations as to whether to authorize the use of its space-based DCS. The regulations are intended to facilitate the collection of environmental data as well as other such data which the Government is interested in collecting. In those instances where space-based commercial systems do not meet users' requirements, the intent is to not disadvantage the development of the commercial space-based services in this sector. Obtaining a system use agreement to operate data collection platforms pursuant to these regulations does not affect related licensing requirements of other Federal agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission.

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§911.2   Scope.

(a) These regulations apply to any person subject to the jurisdiction or control of the United States who operates or proposes to operate data collection platforms to be used with the NOAA DCS either directly or through an affiliate or subsidiary. For the purposes of these regulations a person is subject to the jurisdiction or control of the United States if such person is:

(1) An individual who is a U.S. citizen; or

(2) A corporation, partnership, association, or other entity organized or existing under the laws of any state, territory, or possession of the United States.

(b) These regulations apply to all existing Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) and Argos DCS users as well as all future applications for NOAA DCS use.

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§911.3   Definitions.

For purposes of this part:

(a) Approving authority means NOAA for the GOES DCS; and it means the Argos Participating Agencies, via the Argos Operations Committee, for the Argos DCS.

(b) Argos DCS means the system which collects data from fixed and moving platforms and provides platform location data. This system consists of platforms, the Argos French instrument on the Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) and other international satellites; a ground processing system; and telemetry ground stations.

(c) Argos participating agencies means those agencies of the United States and other countries that participate in the management of the Argos DCS.

(d) Assistant Administrator means the Assistant Administrator for Satellite and Information Services, NOAA, or his/her designee.

(e) Director means the Director of the Office of Satellite Data Processing and Distribution for the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service of NOAA.

(f) Environmental data means environmental measurement data for the purpose of using the GOES DCS; and it means environmental measurement and environmental protection data for the purpose of using the Argos DCS.

(g) Environmental measurement data means data that relate to the characteristics of the Earth and its natural phenomena by helping to better understand, evaluate, or monitor its natural resources.

(h) Environmental protection data means data that relate to the characteristics of the Earth and its environment (including its ecosystems and the species which inhabit them) by helping to protect against any unreasonable adverse effects thereto.

(i) Episodic use means the use of the system for short events where there is a significant possibility of loss of life, such as for Arctic expeditions or scientific campaigns into remote areas.

(j) Government interest means that the use is determined in advance to be of interest to one or more governmental entities of the United States, France or, once they have become an Argos Participating Agency, Japan or a European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) member state; or also, in the case of the GOES DCS, a state or local government.

(k) Government user means agencies of international governmental organizations, national government or any subdivision thereof, or any of those agencies' contractors or grantees, so long as the contractor is using the data collected by the NOAA DCS to fulfill its contractual obligations to the government agency or in the case of a grantee that these data are being used in accordance with the statement of work for the award.

(l) NOAA DCS means the GOES and Argos space-based DCS.

(m) Non-profit user means a not-for-profit academic, research, or other non-governmental organization, which is using these data, for education and/or scientific, non-commercial purposes.

(n) Operational use means the use of data in a situation where the utility of the data are significantly reduced if not collected or delivered in a specific time window. This includes situations where extensive preparation work is in place and a delay in acquisition of data would jeopardize the project.

(o) Platform compatibility means the compatibility of the platform with the space segment of the system, and includes elements such as message length and composition, signal strength, and transmission protocol (e.g., continuous versus event drive).

(p) Sensitive use means the use of the NOAA DCS where the users' requirements dictate the use of a governmental system such as National security, homeland security, law enforcement and humanitarian operations.

(q) Testing use means the use of the NOAA DCS by manufacturers of platforms for use in conjunction with the NOAA DCS, for the limited purpose of testing and certifying the compatibility of new platforms with the technical requirements of the NOAA DCS.

(r) User means the entity and/or organization that owns or operates user platforms for the purpose of collecting and transmitting data through the NOAA DCS, or the organization requiring the collection of the data.

(s) User platform means device designed in accordance with the specifications delineated and approved by the Approving Authority used for the in-situ collection and subsequent transmission of data via the NOAA DCS. Those devices which are used in conjunction with the GOES DCS are referred to as data collection platforms (DCP) and those which are used in conjunction with the Argos DCS are referred to as Platform Transmitter Terminals (PTT). For purposes of these regulations, the terms “user platform,” “DCP”, and “PTT” are interchangeable.

(t) User requirement means the requirement expressed and explained in the System Use Agreement.

[63 FR 24922, May 6, 1998, as amended at 68 FR 45161, Aug. 1, 2003]

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§911.4   Use of the NOAA Data Collection Systems.

(a) Use of the NOAA DCS will only be authorized in accordance with the conditions and requirements set forth in paragraphs (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f) of this section.

(b)(1) Use of the NOAA DCS will only be authorized where it is determined that there are no commercial space-based services available that meet the user's requirements.

(2) A determination under paragraph (b)(1) of this section must be based on such factors as satellite coverage, accuracy, data throughput, platform power consumption, size and weight, service continuity and reliability, platform compatibility, system access mode, and, in the case of government agencies, cost-effectiveness.

(c)(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (c)(2), (3), (4), and (5) of this section, NOAA DCS shall only be used for the collection of environmental data by governmental and/or non-profit users.

(2) Non-governmental, environmental use of the NOAA DCS is only authorized where there is a Government interest in the collection and/or receipt of the data.

(3) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(4) of this section, non-environmental use of the NOAA DCS is only authorized for government use and non-profit users where there is a government interest. The NOAA DCS will continue to be predominantly used for environmental applications. Non-environmental use of the system shall be limited to sensitive use, and to episodic use as defined below in paragraph (c)(4) of this section.

(4) Episodic use of the NOAA DCS may also be authorized in specific instances where there is a significant possibility for loss of life. Such use shall be closely monitored.

(5) Testing use of the NOAA DCS will only be authorized for manufacturers of NOAA DCS platforms, that require access to the system in order to test and certify prototype and production models.

(d) Because of capacity limitations on the GOES DCS, system applicants will be admitted to use the GOES system in accordance with the following priority:

(1) NOAA programs or users whose data are required for implementation of NOAA programs, as determined by the Assistant Administrator, will be accorded first priority.

(2) Users whose data are desired to support NOAA programs will be accorded second priority.

(3) Users whose data and/or use of the GOES DCS will further a program of an agency or department of the U.S. Government, other than NOAA, will be accorded third priority.

(4) Users whose data are required by a state or local Government of the United States will be accorded fourth priority.

(5) Testing users of the system will be accorded fifth priority.

(6) No other usage will be authorized for the GOES DCS.

(e) In the event that Argos DCS capacity limitations require that priority determinations be made, priority will be given to those platforms that provide environmental data of broad international interest, especially of an operational nature, and to those requiring the unique capabilities of the Argos DCS, such as platform location or polar coverage.

[63 FR 24922, May 6, 1998, as amended at 68 FR 45161, Aug. 1, 2003]

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§911.5   NOAA Data Collection Systems Use Agreements.

(a)(1) In order to use a NOAA DCS, each user must have an agreement with the approving authority for that system.

(2) Persons interested in entering into a system use agreement should contact the Director.

(b) These agreements will address, but may not be limited to, the following matters:

(1) The period of time the agreement is valid and procedures for its termination,

(2) The authorized use(s), and its priorities for use,

(3) The extent of the availability of commercial space-based services which meet the user's requirements and the reasons for necessitating the use of the Government system,

(4) Any applicable government interest in the data,

(5) Required equipment standards,

(6) Standards of operation,

(7) Conformance with applicable ITU and FCC agreements and regulations,

(8) Reporting time and frequencies,

(9) Data formats,

(10) Data delivery systems and schedules, and

(11) User-borne costs.

(c) The Director shall evaluate user requests for System Use Agreements and renewals and conclude agreements for use of the NOAA DCS.

(d)(1) Agreements for the collection, via the Argos DCS, of environmental data by government agencies or non-profit institutions shall be valid for 3 years from the date of initial in-situ deployment of the platforms, and may be renewed for additional 3-year periods.

(2) Agreements for the collection of environmental data, via the Argos DCS, by non-government users shall be valid for 1 year from the date of initial in-situ deployment of the platforms, and may be renewed for additional 1-year periods, but only for so long as there exists a governmental interest in the receipt of these data.

(3) Agreements for the collection of non-environmental data, via the Argos DCS, by government agencies, or non-profit institutions where there is a government interest, shall be valid for 1 year from the date of initial in-situ deployment of the platforms, and may be renewed for additional 1-year periods.

(4) Agreements for the episodic collection of non-environmental data, via the Argos DCS under §911.4(c)(4), shall be of short, finite duration not to exceed 1 year without exception, and usually shall not exceed 6 months. These agreements shall be closely monitored and shall not be renewed.

(5) Agreements for the testing use of the Argos DCS by equipment manufacturers shall be valid for 1 year from the date of initial testing, and may be renewed for additional 1-year periods.

(e)(1) Agreements for the collection of environmental data, by the GOES DCS, shall be valid for 5 years from the date of initial in-situ deployment, and may be renewed for additional 5-year periods.

(2) Agreements for the testing use of the GOES DCS, by equipment manufacturers, shall be valid for 1 year from the date of initial testing, and may be renewed for additional 1-year periods.

(3) Agreements for the collection of non-environmental data, via the GOES DCS, by government agencies, or non-profit institutions where there is a government interest, shall be valid for 1 year from the date of initial in-situ deployment of the platforms, and may be renewed for additional 1-year periods.

(4) Agreements for the episodic collection of non-environmental data, via the GOES DCS under §911.4(c)(4), shall be of short, finite duration not to exceed 1 year without exception, and usually shall not exceed 6 months. These agreements shall be closely monitored and shall not be renewed.

[63 FR 24922, May 6, 1998, as amended at 68 FR 45161, Aug. 1, 2003]

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§911.6   Treatment of data.

(a) All NOAA DCS users must agree to permit NOAA and other agencies of the U.S. Government the full, open, timely, and appropriate use as determined by NOAA, of all environmental data collected from their platforms; this may include the international distribution of environmental data under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization.

(b) Raw data from the NOAA space segment is openly transmitted and accessible.

(c) Accessibility of the NOAA DCS processed data from the ground segment is handled in accordance with the users specifications and system design limitations, subject to the provisions stated in paragraph (a) of this section.

[68 FR 45161, Aug. 1, 2003]

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§911.7   Continuation of the NOAA Data Collection Systems.

(a) NOAA expects to continue to operate DCS on its geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites, subject to the availability of future appropriations. However, viable commercial space-based alternatives may eventually obviate the need for NOAA to operate its own space-based DCS.

(b) If use of the system in support of NOAA programs increases, it eventually may be necessary to the further restrict system usage by other users. If such restrictions on use become necessary, or in the event that NOAA discontinues operation of GOES and/or POES, NOAA will provide, to the maximum extent practicable, advance notice and an orderly transition.

(c) NOAA will not be responsible for any losses resulting from the nonavailability of the NOAA DCS.

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§911.8   Technical requirements.

(a) All platform operators of the NOAA DCS must use a data collection platform radio set whose technical and design characteristics are certified to conform to applicable specifications and regulations.

(b) All platform operators are responsible for all costs associated with the procurement and operation of the platforms, and for the acquisition of data from those platforms, either directly from the satellite or from the applicable data processing center.

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Appendix A to Part 911—Argos DCS Use Policy Diagram

eCFR graphic er01au03.015.gif

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[68 FR 45161, Aug. 1, 2003]

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Appendix B to Part 911—GOES DCS Use Policy Diagram

eCFR graphic er01au03.016.gif

View or download PDF

[68 FR 45162, Aug. 1, 2003]

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