Title 15


960.1 Purpose.

§ 960.1 Purpose.

(a) The regulations in this part set forth the procedural and informational requirements for obtaining a license to operate a private remote sensing space system under Title II of the Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of 1992 (15 U.S.C. 5601 et seq.) (Public Law 102-555, 106 Stat. 4163) and applicable U.S. Policy, which addresses the U.S. commercial remote sensing satellite industry. (Available from NOAA, National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service, 1335 East-West Highway, Room 7311, Silver Spring, MD 20910). In addition, this part describes NOAA's regulation of such systems, pursuant to the Act and applicable U.S. Policy. The regulations in this part are intended to:

(1) Preserve the national security of the United States;

(2) Observe the foreign policies and international obligations of the United States;

(3) Advance and protect U.S. national security and foreign policy interests by maintaining U.S. leadership in remote sensing space activities, and by sustaining and enhancing the U.S. remote sensing industry;

(4) Promote the broad use of remote sensing data, their information products and applications;

(5) Ensure that unenhanced data collected by licensed private remote sensing space systems concerning the territory of any country are made available to the government of that country upon its request, as soon as such data are available and on reasonable commercial terms and conditions as appropriate;

(6) Ensure that remotely sensed data are widely available for civil and scientific research, particularly environmental and global change research; and

(7) Maintain a permanent comprehensive U.S. government archive of global land remote sensing data for long-term monitoring and study of the changing global environment.

(b) In accordance with the Act and applicable U.S. Policy, decisions regarding the issuance of licenses and operational conditions (See Subpart B of this part) will be made by the Secretary of Commerce or his/her designee. Determinations of conditions necessary to meet national security, foreign policy and international obligations are made by the Secretaries of Defense and State, respectively.

(c) In accordance with U.S. Policy, NOAA encourages U.S. companies to build and operate commercial remote sensing space systems whose operational capabilities, products, and services are superior to any current or planned foreign commercial systems. However, because of the potential value of its products to an adversary, the U.S. Government may restrict operations of the commercial systems in order to limit collection and/or dissemination of certain data and products to the U.S. Government or to U.S. Government-approved recipients.