U.S. President Donald Trump signed commercial satellite weather bill last week on April 18. The bill will allow the private sector to participate in improving weather forecast and authorized private companies to provide weather data from their satellite.
The bill has received the Senate approval on March 29, according to Science Magazine, in a unanimous consent during the vote. A week later, the bill passed the approval from the House of Representative. As the president has signed the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 into law last week, it gives the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) more capacity to extend its weather forecast capability.
NOAA is now authorized to prioritize its research to improve its weather data, including data modeling, computation, and forecasting. The new set of authorization for NOAA will enable the federal government to provide a far more accurate weather forecast to protect lives, crops, and property.
U.S. Rep Frank Lucas, a Republican member of the House of Representative is the sponsor of the bill. He explained that the bill is a major step forward for the weather forecast and prediction according to AccuWeather. The bill mandates NOAA to study its current state of satellite and weather radar and installed a new dedicated radar facility and approve the tornado and hurricane research.
"When a major storm or tornado is quickly approaching your community, every additional minute of preparation time counts," Lucas, the Republican from Oklahoma said. "This legislation strengthens our country’s commitment to severe weather forecasting."
One company that will involve in providing the weather data for NOAA is Spire Global. Last year, NOOA awarded the San Fransisco-based company an initial contract to provide weather data from its satellite for the government. Spire Global currently has twelve small-sized weather satellites called CubeSats in the low orbit of the Earth. Watch the Forbes report about Spire Global's satellite and its data gathering below: