The Commerce
‘s National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration
announced today that Space
Radar Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Research and
Development Laboratories of Culver City, Calif., surrendered
its license to operate a radar remote sensing satellite as part
of a settlement agreement between NOAA and Research and Development

This settlement follows a nine-month national
security investigation by NOAA’s Space Enforcement Office, stemming
from allegations of pervasive government-contract fraud committed
by RDL. Craig O’Connor, NOAA’s acting general counsel, said,
"Following our investigation, the secretary of commerce
could no longer be assured that Space Radar Corporation would
comply with the national security concerns of the United States
and the terms and conditions of its license."

Under the Land
Remote Sensing Policy Act of 1992
, NOAA is responsible for
licensing and regulating the operation of private remote sensing
satellite systems. Space Radar Corporation, formerly RDL Space
Corporation and RDL SAR SAT, received the first U.S. license
to operate a radar satellite system on June 16, 1998. The LRSPA
stipulates that: "No license shall be granted by the Secretary
[of Commerce
] unless the Secretary determines in writing
that the applicant will comply with the requirements of this
Act, any regulations issued pursuant to this Act, and any applicable
international obligations and national security concerns of the
United States."