The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which operates the nation’s weather satellites, will use orbital information services provided by the Space Data Association (SDA) under an agreement between the two organizations, SDA said in a press release May 22.
SDA, based in Britain’s Isle of Man, is a cooperative among commercial satellite operators whose purpose is to avoid collisions and radiofrequency interference in the increasingly crowded orbital environment. The nonprofit organization operates a clearinghouse of high-accuracy orbital data that is available to its members.
“This agreement with NOAA is particularly gratifying as it shows that we can find a way to engage with commercial/governmental entities while retaining the benefits of the strong legal data protection framework we have put in place for the SDA members,” SDA Chairman Stewart Sanders said in a prepared statement. “I fully expect that other governmental agencies will also see the benefits of subscribing to the SDA’s unique capabilities and will shortly follow NOAA’s lead.”