Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
House agreed to Senate amendment with amendment (06/28/1984)

(House agreed to Senate amendment with an amendment)

Land Remote Sensing Commercialization Act of 1984 - Title I: Declaration of Findings, Purposes, and Policies - Sets forth the findings, purposes, and policies of Congress concerning the collection and use of civil land remote-sensing data.

Title II: Operation and Data Marketing of Landsat System - Directs the Secretary of Commerce to be responsible for: (1) the Landsat system, including the orbit, operation, and disposition of Landsat 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5; and (2) provision of data to foreign ground stations under the terms of agreements between the United States and nations that operate such ground stations.

Allows the Secretary to continue contracting for the operation of part or all of the Landsat system so long as the United States retains: (1) ownership of such system and of the unenhanced data; and (2) authority to make decisions concerning the operation of such system.

Directs the Secretary to contract, by competitive means, with the U.S. private sector for the marketing of unenhanced data collected by the Landsat system. Sets forth specified contract requirements.

Requires the Secretary to transmit any decision to enter into such contracts to specified Senate and House committees for their review. Prohibits the implementation of any decision unless: (1) a 30 day continuous session of Congress has passed after the receipt by such committees of such transmittal; or (2) each such committee before the expiration of such period has agreed and transmitted to the Secretary written notice that they have no objection to such decision.

Sets forth conditions of competition for such contracts. Provides that if no proposals are acceptable, the Secretary shall certify such finding to the Congress. Authorizes the Secretary to reopen the competitive process after such a certification.

Entitles the contractor to the revenues from the sale of data copies after the contract commencement date.

Requires the contractor, as a part of the contract, to supply unenhanced data to foreign ground stations in accordance with existing agreements between the United States and such foreign ground stations. Makes such unenhanced data available to foreign ground stations on a nondiscriminatory basis upon the expiration of an agreement or, if no agreement exists, on the contract commencement date.

Title III: Provision of Data Continuity After the Landsat System - Directs the Secretary to solicit proposals from the U.S. private sector for the development and operation of a remote-sensing space system capable of providing data continuity for a period of six years and for the marketing of unenhanced data. Directs the Secretary, after evaluating such proposals, to contract, on a competitive basis, with such U.S. private sector entity for the capability of providing such service. Sets forth specified factors to be considered before the awarding of such contracts.

Requires the Secretary to transmit any decision to enter into such contracts to specified Senate and House committees for their review. Prohibits the implementation of any decision unless: (1) a 30 day continuous session of Congress has passed after the receipt by such committees of such transmittal; or (2) each such committee before the expiration of such period has agreed and transmitted to the Secretary written notice that they have no objection to such decision. Sets forth specified factors relating to the awarding of such contracts. Provides that if no proposals are acceptable, the Secretary shall certify such findings to the Congress. Authorizes the Secretary to reopen the competitive process after such a certification.

Sets forth specified terms to be included in such contracts.

Requires the Secretary, within two years after the commencement of the six year period, to report to the President and the Congress on the progress of the transition to fully private financing, ownership, and operation of remote-sensing space systems, together with any recommendations for actions necessary to ensure U.S. leadership in civilian land remote-sensing from space.

Terminates the Secretary's authority granted under this title ten years after the date of enactment of this Act.

Title IV: Licensing of Private Remote-Sensing Space Systems - Authorizes the Secretary, after consultation with other appropriate Federal agencies, to grant private sector parties licenses to operate private remote-sensing space systems. Prohibits any person subject to U.S. jurisdiction from operating any private remote-sensing space station without such license. Prohibits the granting of such licenses unless the applicant complies with specified requirements. Sets forth conditions for the operation of such system. Allows the Secretary, under specified circumstances, to grant, terminate, modify, condition, transfer, or suspend such licenses and licensed operations.

Grants the Secretary regulatory and enforcement authority to carry out the provisions of this title.

Sets forth a conditional termination date for this title.

Title V: Research and Development - Directs the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to continue and to enhance NASA's programs of remote-sensing research and development, including developing programs and technologies and cooperating with public and private entities.

Directs the Secretary to conduct a continuing program of: (1) research in applications of remote-sensing; (2) monitoring of the Earth and its environment; and (3) development of technology for such monitoring.

Authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to conduct programs of research and development in the applications of remote sensing.

Requires the Secretary and the Administrator of NASA, within one year of the enactment of this Act and biennially thereafter, to report to Congress.

Describes the uses for the data gathered in Federal experimental remote-sensing space programs, and how it may be sold.

Title VI: General Provisions - Requires that any unenhanced data be made available on a nondiscriminatory basis in accordance with the requirements of this Act. Requires system operators to make public the terms of sale of such data (but not the names of buyers or their purchases).

Directs the Secretary to archive the land remote-sensing data collected, including providing long-term storage, maintenance, and upgrading for such data.

Requires the Secretary, subject to the availability of appropriations, to request data needed for the basic data set and pay to the system operator the reasonable costs for reproduction and transmission. Gives a system operator the exclusive right to sell all data that the operator provides to the U.S. remote-sensing archive for a specified period. Requires that such data provided to the U.S. remote-sensing archive shall be in the public domain upon the expiration or relinquishment of such exclusive rights.

Prohibits the reproduction and dissemination of such data by a purchaser.

Authorizes the President and the Federal Communications Commission to allocate, pursuant to the Communications Act of 1934, radio frequencies appropriate for remote-sensing space systems.

Directs the Secretary to consult with the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State on matters affecting national security and international matters, respectively.

Makes a conforming amendment to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act, 1983.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1985.

Title VII: Prohibition of Commercialization of Weather Satellites - Prohibits the President from leasing, selling, or transfering to the private sector, commercializing, or dismantling any portion of the weather satellite systems operated by the Department of Commerce.