H.R. 3654: Hurricane Satellite Modernization Act

September 28, 2009 at 11:00 am | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

United States CongressH.R. 3654: Hurricane Satellite Modernization Act was introduced on September 25, 2009 by Rep. Ron Klein (D-FL22):

HR 3654 IH

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3654

To authorize the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to procure, launch, and operate the next generation of weather forecasting satellites.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 25, 2009

Mr. KLEIN of Florida (for himself and Mr. MELANCON) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Science and Technology

A BILL

To authorize the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to procure, launch, and operate the next generation of weather forecasting satellites.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ‘Hurricane Satellite Modernization Act’.

SEC. 2. XOVWM CONSTELLATION.

(a) Role of NASA-

(1) IN GENERAL- The Administrator of NASA is authorized to procure and launch the next-generation Extended Ocean Vector Winds Mission, or XOVWM, constellation of satellites.

(2) COORDINATION- The Administrator of NASA shall coordinate with NOAA to ensure that the capabilities of the XOVWM constellation of satellites will meet the operational data needs of NOAA.

(3) PLAN- The Administrator of NASA shall develop a plan and schedule for the procurement and launch of the XOVWM constellation of satellites and shall submit such plan to the Committee on Science and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.

(b) Role of NOAA- The Administrator of NOAA is authorized to operate the constellation of satellites procured under subsection (a)(1).

(c) Annual Report- The Administrator of NASA and the Administrator of NOAA shall submit to Congress an annual report about each agency’s progress in conducting the activities authorized by this section.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

In this Act:

(1) NASA- The term ‘NASA’ means the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

(2) NOAA- The term ‘NOAA’ means the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

SEC. 4. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator of NASA and the Administrator of NOAA a total of $3,000,000,000 for fiscal years 2010 through 2027 for the purpose of carrying out section 2.

NGA to Seek Higher-Resolution Commercial Satellite Imagery

September 28, 2009 at 8:11 am | Posted in Remote Sensing Law Current Events | 1 Comment

by Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz with the blog faculty

Source : Space News

By Turner Brinton

WASHINGTON — The U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) plans to sign new imagery contracts with commercial satellite operators next year that will be structured like the purchasing deals currently in place but yield higher-quality data, an agency official said.

As part of the new electro-optical satellite imaging plan approved by U.S. President Barack Obama earlier this year, the NGA intends to buy commercial imagery with ground resolution as fine as a quarter-meter, Winston Beauchamp, the NGA’s acting technical executive, said in a Sept. 23 interview. However, the NGA faces a potential obstacle on Capitol Hill, as key U.S. senators have balked at certain aspects of the overall plan.

The NGA intends to issue a request for proposals for its program this fall and hopes to have contracts in place by spring 2010, with imagery deliveries starting two years to three years later, Beauchamp said. The new contracting vehicle, called EnhancedView, will be similar to the NGA’s current NextView program, under which the agency made upfront payments that helped underwrite new-generation imaging satellites by DigitalGlobe of Longmont, Colo., and GeoEye of Dulles, Va. 

Those satellites cost about $500 million each and feature 1.1-meter-aperture telescopes that image the Earth with a resolution of about half of a meter, which is sharp enough to discern objects of that size or larger. Both companies are under contract through March to provide as much as $12.5 million worth of imagery per month to the NGA.

“The intent [of EnhancedView] is a little bit different in that we will be asking for some capabilities that are a little better than what the commercial industry wants,” Beauchamp said. “What we’re looking for is for them to get farther down and closer to the government license, approaching a quarter-meter.”

The NGA wants to squeeze out higher-resolution imagery from the same type of satellite platform the companies now operate, which can be done by flying the satellite at a lower altitude. However, this comes at the expense of time in the satellite’s operating life.

In addition, the satellite operators prefer not to collect imagery with resolution better than a half meter because they are prohibited from selling it to anyone but the U.S. government and certain allies, Beauchamp said. Both DigitalGlobe and GeoEye have two-tiered licenses from the U.S. Department of Commerce that allow them to sell imagery with resolution as fine as a half-meter commercially and as fine as a quarter-meter to the government.

EnhancedView is one part of a larger satellite imagery strategy announced April 7 by U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair to serve both the military and intelligence community. Commonly referred to as two-plus-two, the plan would have the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office buy and operate two exquisite-class spy satellites based on an evolution of the legacy satellites built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Denver. The NGA, meanwhile, would buy data from less-capable commercial-class satellites at volumes equivalent to the output of two spacecraft.

The plan is supported in the House and Senate versions of the 2010 Defense Appropriations bill, but faces opposition in the Senate defense and intelligence authorization bills. In a letter sent to Blair in March, Sen. Christopher Bond (R-Mo.), vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, railed against the choice of the exquisite system, which he said is the most expensive and risky avenue that could be pursued.

The Senate Intelligence Authorization bill, which passed Sept. 16, pushes an entirely different approach for the government-owned satellites and supports more technically advanced commercial satellites, government and industry sources said. On the commercial side, it supports a plan similar to what is proposed in the Senate’s version of Defense Authorization bill. That measure recommends buying a 1.1-meter-aperture commercial-class imaging satellite — or an equivalent volume of imagery — and a more complex and expensive 1.5-meter-aperture satellite or imagery equivalent. Both the House Intelligence Authorization and Defense Authorization bills support the administration’s plan, and the differences with the Senate bills will have to be hashed out in conference.

Meanwhile, both commercial operators continue to make progress on their next-generation satellites. DigitalGlobe has a scheduled Oct. 8 launch date for its next satellite, dubbed WorldView-2, which it financed on its own without the promise of government support.

“The EnhancedView program will allow NGA to take full advantage of additional capacity provided by WorldView-2,” DigitalGlobe Chairman and Chief Executive Jill Smith said in an e-mailed response to questions.

GeoEye has maintained it would not commit to building and launching its next satellite, GeoEye-2, without a government contract or guarantee in place. But the company has spent about $60 million to date developing the camera for the satellite, which could be on orbit in 2012 or 2013, GeoEye spokesman Mark Brender said via e-mail.

B-401450; B-401450.2; B-401516, Palm Beach Aviation, Inc., August 28, 2009

September 24, 2009 at 3:18 pm | Posted in Aviation Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

The GAO has issued a bid protest decision in the matter of B-401450; B-401450.2; B-401516, Palm Beach Aviation, Inc., August 28, 2009:

DECISION

Palm Beach Aviation, Inc. (PBA) of West Palm Beach, Florida, protests the award of a contract to Rampart Aviation, Inc. of Franklinton, North Carolina, under request for proposals (RFP) No. H92236-09-R-4001, issued by the U.S. Special Operations Command Regional Contracting Office Fort Bragg (USSOCOM) for an aircraft and pilot to support military parachute training for military personnel at Pinal Air Park, Marana, Arizona. PBA contends that Rampart’s proposal should have been rejected as technically unacceptable and that the agency’s price evaluation was inconsistent with the solicitation requirement.

We dismiss the protests in part and deny them in part.

Disasters Charter: Flooding in Georgia, USA

September 23, 2009 at 9:14 am | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

The Disasters Charter has been activated for flooding in Georgia, USA:

Flooding in Georgia, USA
Type of Event: Flood
Location of Event: Georgia, USA
Date of Charter Activation: 23/09/2009
Charter Requestor: USGS on behalf of Georgia Emergency Management
Project Management: –

Description of the Event
Severe flooding in north Georgia has killed so far seven people, submerged homes, knocked out power and turned streams into rivers.

Some interstate highways through Atlanta and hundreds of side roads are closed due to damage from the floods or high water still covering them.

New Regional Support Centre for Outer Space Affairs for West Africa

September 23, 2009 at 9:06 am | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

From EARSC:

West Africa: Country Now UN Satellite Support Centre for W/Africa

The United Nations has appointed Nigeria’s National Space Research and Development Agency as the Regional Support Centre for Outer Space Affairs for West Africa.

The mandate of the Center is to anchor a new United Nations programme known as the United Nations’ platform for Space-Based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN -SPIDER).

The Director General of NASRDA Dr. Seidu O. Mohammed said in an acceptance speech last Wednesday that the Agency would serve as a gateway for space based solutions to disaster management, and also serve as a link between the disaster community and the geospatial community. . . . [Full Story]

Library: A Round-up of Reading

September 22, 2009 at 2:22 pm | Posted in Library | Leave a comment

Report
Missile Defense: DOD Needs to More Fully Assess Requirements and Establish Operational Units before Fielding New Capabilities. GAO-09-856, September 16

ESPI Report 21: “Economic and Political Aspects of Space Regulations in Europe. Part 1: The Case of National Space Legislation – Finding the Way Between Common and Coordinated Action”

Books
Stephan Hobe, Globalisation – the State and International Law (Franz Steiner Verlag 2009) – Not a space law book, but edited by a space lawyer. And it includes chapters on air and space law:

Pablo Mendes de Leon, The Effect of Globalisation on the Development of Air Law
Ram Jakhu, The Effect of Globalisation on Space Law
Nicolai von Ruckteschell, Aircrafts and Airline Shares: Global Assets Regulated to National Tangibles?
Frans von der Dunk, Surveying the Scene: The Effects of Globalisation on Space Law – A Panellist’s Remarks
Sergio Marchisio, How Does Globalisation Affect General International Law and Space Law?

Newsletter
IISL No. 75

Blogs
The false promise of missile defense – Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces

SBIRS Problems Persist: New Sats Needed – DoD Buzz

Schwartz Cool on F-22 Export – DoD Buzz

Pief Panofsky on Missile Defense – Arms Control Wonk

Cape Town Convention Update – Aviation Law Discussions

What is to become of the BNSC? – Terminator

Security Scare at NASA HQ – NASA Watch

Satellites Could Help Keep Hungry Populations Fed As Climate Changes – EARSC

From Ivory Tower to Iron Bars: Scientists Risk Jail Time for Violating Export Laws – Danger Room

DARPA space junk removal program – RLV and Space Transport News

Pentagon Wants ‘Space Junk’ Cleaned Up – Danger Room

And more Missile Defense Reading
Russia, U.S. could develop joint missile defense against Iran – RIA Novisti

Is the missile shield moving to Georgia? – FP Passport

Weekly Web Watch 09/14/09 – 09/20/09 – Executive Watch

Missile Defense Aftermath – Missile Monitor

Iran welcomes U.S. missile defense reversal – RIA Novisti

H.R. 3607: Fiscal Year 2010 Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act

September 22, 2009 at 2:12 pm | Posted in Aviation Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

United States CongressH.R. 3607: Fiscal Year 2010 Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act was introduced on September 21, 2009 by Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN8):

HR 3607 IH

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3607

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the funding and expenditure authority of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, to amend title 49, United States Code, to extend authorizations for the airport improvement program, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 21, 2009

Mr. OBERSTAR (for himself, Mr. RANGEL, Mr. MICA, Mr. CAMP, Mr. COSTELLO, and Mr. PETRI) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the funding and expenditure authority of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, to amend title 49, United States Code, to extend authorizations for the airport improvement program, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ‘Fiscal Year 2010 Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act’.

SEC. 2. EXTENSION OF TAXES FUNDING AIRPORT AND AIRWAY TRUST FUND.

(a) Fuel Taxes- Subparagraph (B) of section 4081(d)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by striking ‘September 30, 2009’ and inserting ‘December 31, 2009’.

(b) Ticket Taxes-

(1) PERSONS- Clause (ii) of section 4261(j)(1)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by striking ‘September 30, 2009’ and inserting ‘December 31, 2009’.

(2) PROPERTY- Clause (ii) of section 4271(d)(1)(A) of such Code is amended by striking ‘September 30, 2009’ and inserting ‘December 31, 2009’.

(c) Effective Date- The amendments made by this section shall take effect on October 1, 2009.

SEC. 3. EXTENSION OF AIRPORT AND AIRWAY TRUST FUND EXPENDITURE AUTHORITY.

(a) In General- Paragraph (1) of section 9502(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended–

(1) by striking ‘October 1, 2009’ and inserting ‘January 1, 2010’, and

(2) by inserting ‘or the Fiscal Year 2010 Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act’ before the semicolon at the end of subparagraph (A).

(b) Conforming Amendment- Paragraph (2) of section 9502(e) of such Code is amended by striking ‘October 1, 2009’ and inserting ‘January 1, 2010’.

(c) Effective Date- The amendments made by this section shall take effect on October 1, 2009.

SEC. 4. EXTENSION OF AIRPORT IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM.

(a) Authorization of Appropriations-

(1) IN GENERAL- Section 48103 of title 49, United States Code, is amended–

(A) by striking ‘and’ at the end of paragraph (5);

(B) by striking the period at the end of paragraph (6) and inserting ‘; and’; and

(C) by adding at the end the following:

‘(7) $1,000,000,000 for the 3-month period beginning on October 1, 2009.’.

(2) OBLIGATION OF AMOUNTS- Sums made available pursuant to the amendment made by paragraph (1) may be obligated at any time through September 30, 2010, and shall remain available until expended.

(b) Project Grant Authority- Section 47104(c) of such title is amended by striking ‘September 30, 2009,’ and inserting ‘December 31, 2009,’.

SEC. 5. EXTENSION OF EXPIRING AUTHORITIES.

(a) Section 40117(l)(7) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by striking ‘October 1, 2009.’ and inserting ‘January 1, 2010.’.

(b) Section 41743(e)(2) of such title is amended by striking ‘2009’ and inserting ‘2010’.

(c) Section 44302(f)(1) of such title is amended–

(1) by striking ‘September 30, 2009,’ and inserting ‘December 31, 2009,’; and

(2) by striking ‘December 31, 2009,’ and inserting ‘March 31, 2010,’.

(d) Section 44303(b) of such title is amended by striking ‘December 31, 2009,’ and inserting ‘March 31, 2010,’.

(e) Section 47107(s)(3) of such title is amended by striking ‘October 1, 2009.’ and inserting ‘January 1, 2010.’.

(f) Section 47115(j) of such title is amended by inserting ‘and for the portion of fiscal year 2010 ending before January 1, 2010,’ after ‘2009,’.

(g) Section 47141(f) of such title is amended by striking ‘September 30, 2009.’ and inserting ‘December 31, 2009.’.

(h) Section 49108 of such title is amended by striking ‘September 30, 2009,’ and inserting ‘December 31, 2009,’.

(i) Section 161 of the Vision 100–Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act (49 U.S.C. 47109 note) is amended by inserting ‘, or in the portion of fiscal year 2010 ending before January 1, 2010,’ after ‘fiscal year 2009’.

(j) Section 186(d) of such Act (117 Stat. 2518) is amended by inserting ‘and for the portion of fiscal year 2010 ending before January 1, 2010,’ after ‘2009,’.

(k) Section 409(d) of such Act (49 U.S.C. 41731 note) is amended by striking ‘September 30, 2009.’ and inserting ‘September 30, 2010.’.

(l) The amendments made by this section shall take effect on October 1, 2009.

SEC. 6. FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION OPERATIONS.

Section 106(k)(1) of title 49, United States Code, is amended–

(1) by striking ‘and’ at the end of subparagraph (D);

(2) by striking the period at the end of subparagraph (E) and inserting ‘; and’; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

‘(F) $2,338,287,375 for the 3-month period beginning on October 1, 2009.’.

SEC. 7. AIR NAVIGATION FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT.

Section 48101(a) of title 49, United States Code, is amended–

(1) by striking ‘and’ at the end of paragraph (4);

(2) by striking the period at the end of paragraph (5) and inserting ‘; and’; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

‘(6) $733,444,250 for the 3-month period beginning on October 1, 2009.’.

SEC. 8. RESEARCH, ENGINEERING, AND DEVELOPMENT.

Section 48102(a) of title 49, United States Code, is amended–

(1) by striking ‘and’ at the end of paragraph (12);

(2) by striking the period at the end of paragraph (13) and inserting ‘; and’; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

‘(14) $46,250,000 for the 3-month period beginning on October 1, 2009.’.

Belarus to create national space agency

September 22, 2009 at 1:57 pm | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

From RIA Novisti:

Belarus to create national space agency
13:2221/09/2009

MOSCOW, September 21 (RIA Novosti) – Belarus plans to create its own space agency, and will consider specialists’ proposals by the end of the year, Russia’s space agency quoted a Belarusian official as saying.

Roscosmos quoted Mikhail Myasnikovich, president of National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, as saying the creation of a new agency is part of the national space research program for 2008-12. . . . [Full Story]

Russian Statements on Missile Defense

September 21, 2009 at 3:56 pm | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

Dmitry Medvedev’s:

09.17.2009
RF President Dmitry Medvedev’s statement in response to the new U.S. approach to missile defence

“In Russia we duly noted President Obama’s statement about the United States’ new approach to the issue of missile defence.

I have discussed this issue with Mr President during our meetings in London and Moscow. Along with this we agreed that the United States and Russia will strive to work together to assess the risks of missile proliferation in the world, and integrated this aspiration into our agreements, our joint statements.

Today’s statement from Washington shows that there are good conditions to pursue such work. Of course, we still have to hold relevant expert consultations, and naturally our country is ready for this.

In any case, during my meeting with President Obama scheduled for September 23 in New York, we will have a good opportunity to exchange views on all issues affecting strategic stability, including missile defence.

I hope that we’ll be able to instruct the appropriate departments, both Russian and American, to intensify cooperation, including with European countries and other concerned states. We will work together to develop effective measures against the risks of missile proliferation. Measures that take into account the interests and concerns of all parties, and ensure equal security for all countries in European territory.

We appreciate the responsible attitude of the President of the United States towards implementing our agreements. I am ready to continue our dialogue.”

And Putin (Via Reuters):

Russia’s Putin says U.S. shield decision positive
Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:57pm IST

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Friday a decision by the United States to scrap plans for a missile defense shield in Europe was positive.

Putin, speaking to investors in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, said he now expected the United States to back a bid by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan to join the World Trade Organisation.

“I expect that after this correct and brave decision, others will follow, including the complete removal of all restrictions on the transfer of high technology to Russia and activity to widen the membership of the World Trade Organisation to (include) Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus,” Putin said.

Further reading on Missile Defense:

What a Revamped U.S. Missile Shield Might Look Like – Danger Room

Obama and European Missile Defense – Security Dilemmas

Israel Real Missile Defense Focus – DoD Buzz

Hidden Agendas and Missile Defenses – Amrs Control Wonk

A Better Missile Defense for a Safer Europe – Small Wars Journal

U.S. missile defense reversal no concession to Russia – Gates – RIA Novosti

A New Approach for Missile Defense – Dipnote

Missile Defense’s Shelving Reflected Military’s Concerns – Intelligence Magazine

Testing European Missile Defense – Arms Control Wonk

British Columbia Open Skies Summit

September 21, 2009 at 3:16 pm | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

From the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure:

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
2009TRAN0017-000365

September 18, 2009

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

B.C. INVITES WORLD TO OPEN SKIES SUMMIT

VICTORIA – The British Columbia International Open Skies Summit will host government, business, community, aviation and academic leaders from Canada and around the world later this month, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Shirley Bond announced today.

“As Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway to North America, we encourage the federal government to pursue Open Skies agreements with Asian nations,” said Bond. “This important one-day conference will play a pivotal role in developing new economic opportunities for B.C. and other western provinces by exploring issues related to Open Skies.”

The summit will be held on Friday, Sept. 25 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. It will promote the economic benefits of Open Skies and increase awareness for the public and business community. Discussion topics include: the progress being made on international air access to B.C., the U.S. experience with Open Skies agreements, the airline and airport industry perspectives on the impact of Open Skies and the critical importance of Open Skies to British Columbia, Canada and other nations.

Premier Campbell will be joined by Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach and representatives from the Canadian government. Speakers include:

· Andrew Steinberg, former assistant secretary for Aviation and International Affairs, U.S. Department of Transportation.

· Andrew Parker, senior vice president, Emirates Airline.

· Dr. Hugh Dunleavy, executive vice-president, Commercial Distribution, WestJet.

· Barry Rempel, chairman, Canadian Airports Council.

· George Petsikas, president, National Airlines Council of Canada.

· W.K. Lim, Regional vice-president, Singapore Airlines.

· Dr. Tae Oum, UPS Foundation chair in transportation, Sauder school of business, University of British Columbia.

· Dr. David Gillen, director, Centre for Transportation Studies, Sauder school of business, University of British Columbia.

· Dr. Mike Tretheway, president, InterVISTAS Consulting Inc.

· Dr. Yeong Heok Lee, professor, Korea Aerospace University.

“By opening up air service, B.C. communities could attract visitors, students and investors, stimulating our regional economies,” said Bond. “For example, an Open Skies agreement between Canada and Japan would increase passenger volume on the Tokyo-Vancouver route, having a $55-million impact annually on Canada’s tourism industry.”

For more information on the British Columbia International Open Skies Summit, please visit http://www.OpenSkiesSummit.ca. Additional background information is available online at http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/openskies/index.htm.

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