Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
                                                      Calendar No. 689
114th Congress      }                                   {       Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session         }                                   {      114-385
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     


               SPACE WEATHER RESEARCH AND FORECASTING ACT

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                S. 2817

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


               November 28, 2016.--Ordered to be printed
                                   ______

                         U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

69-010                         WASHINGTON : 2016                
               















       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                    one hundred fourteenth congress
                             second session

                   JOHN THUNE, South Dakota, Chairman
 ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi         BILL NELSON, Florida
 ROY BLUNT, Missouri                  MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
 MARCO RUBIO, Florida                 CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri
 KELLY AYOTTE, New Hampshire          AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota
 TED CRUZ, Texas                      RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut
 DEB FISCHER, Nebraska                BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii
 JERRY MORAN, Kansas                  ED MARKEY, Massachusetts
 DAN SULLIVAN, Alaska                 CORY BOOKER, New Jersey
 RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin               TOM UDALL, New Mexico
 DEAN HELLER, Nevada                  JOE MANCHIN, West Virginia
 CORY GARDNER, Colorado               GARY PETERS, Michigan
 STEVE DAINES, Montana
                       Nick Rossi, Staff Director
                 Adrian Arnakis, Deputy Staff Director
                    Jason Van Beek, General Counsel
                 Kim Lipsky, Democratic Staff Director
           Christopher Day, Democratic Deputy Staff Director
                 Clint Odom, Democratic General Counsel
                 
                 
                 
                 














                                                      Calendar No. 689
114th Congress      }                                   {       Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session         }                                   {      114-385

======================================================================



 
               SPACE WEATHER RESEARCH AND FORECASTING ACT

                                _______
                                

               November 28, 2016.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Thune, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2817]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 2817) to improve understanding 
and forecasting of space weather events, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon 
with an amendment (in the nature of a substitute) and 
recommends that the bill (as amended) do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of S. 2817, as reported, is to improve the 
understanding and forecasting of space weather events, and for 
other purposes.

                          Background and Needs

    Space weather refers to naturally occurring variations in 
the space environment between the Sun and the Earth, including 
solar flares, solar energetic particles, solar wind, and 
coronal mass ejections.\1\ These solar events can interact with 
Earth and its surrounding space, including the Earth's magnetic 
field.\2\ Space weather is relevant to U.S. economic and social 
well-being because these naturally occurring variations could 
cause disruption to electrical power grids, navigation systems, 
communications networks, and satellite and aircraft operations. 
Therefore, space weather has economic, safety, health, and 
national security implications. As the United States becomes 
more and more dependent on communication networks, navigation 
systems, and electrical power grid technologies, the impact of 
space weather poses an increasing risk to infrastructure.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ National Science and Technology Council, National Space Weather 
Strategy, October 2015.
    \2\ Department of Homeland Security, The Strategic National Risk 
Assessment (SNRA) in Support of PPD 8: A Comprehensive Risk-Based 
Approach toward a Secure and Resilient Nation, December 2011.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Historical records indicate that space weather events of 
great severity have occurred within the last 150 years. The 
most famous geomagnetic power outage happened during a space 
storm in March 1989 when six million people in Quebec, Canada 
lost power for nine hours. The Great Geomagnetic Storm of May 
1921, which produced ground currents as much as ten times 
stronger than the 1989 Quebec storm, was used as a case study 
to model its effect on the modern power grid. The National 
Academy of Sciences (NAS) found there would be more than 350 
transformers at risk of permanent damage and 130 million people 
without power if the 1921 storm happened today. The strongest 
geomagnetic storm on record is the Carrington Event of August-
September 1859, which was ranked over 50 percent stronger than 
the storm of May 1921. A contemporary repetition of the 
Carrington Event would cause extensive social and economic 
disruptions,\3\ including power outages, radio blackouts, and 
satellite malfunctions, and impacts to telecommunications, GPS 
navigation, banking and finance, and transportation. According 
to the NAS estimates, the total economic impact in the first 
year alone could reach up to $2 trillion, approximately 20 
times greater than the costs of Hurricane Katrina.\4\ 
Scientists do not know the likelihood of such an event 
recurring, or whether such an event is even the worst-case 
scenario.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\ National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Severe Space 
Weather - Social and Economic Impacts, accessed April 20, 2016, at 
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2009/21jan--
severespaceweather/.
    \4\ National Academy of Sciences, Severe Space Weather Events - 
Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts: A Workshop Report, 2008.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     In October 2015, the National Science and Technology 
Council (NSTC) released both the National Space Weather 
Strategy and the National Space Weather Action Plan, the result 
of a multi-agency task force led by the Office of Science and 
Technology Policy (OSTP), the Department of Commerce's National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the 
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seeking to enhance the 
integration of existing national efforts to understand, 
predict, prepare for, and mitigate space weather.
     S. 2817 would help implement the National Space Weather 
Strategy and the National Space Weather Action Plan by setting 
national priorities to increase and improve space weather 
observations, science, and forecasting abilities. If utility 
and satellite operators know a storm is coming, they could take 
measures to reduce damage, such as disconnecting wires, 
shielding vulnerable electronics, and powering down critical 
hardware.
     Currently, the National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration's (NASA) Solar and Heliospheric Observatory 
(SOHO) spacecraft includes the Large Angle and Spectrometric 
Coronagraph (LASCO) instrument that provides data with an 
advanced warning of incoming solar flares of 24 hours to 72 
hours depending on the energy emitted. However, SOHO/LASCO was 
launched 20 years ago on December 2, 1995, and has already 
exceeded its design life. Therefore, this bill would require 
NASA and NOAA to consider additional capability for solar 
imaging to provide continuous space weather forecasting in the 
event of a SOHO/LASCO failure.

                         Summary of Provisions

    If enacted, S. 2817, as amended, would provide clear roles 
and responsibilities for Federal agencies, including NASA, 
NOAA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Federal 
Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Department of Defense 
(DOD) to better understand, predict, and forecast space 
weather. Specifically, the bill would direct NOAA and the DOD 
to provide operational space weather forecasts, and it would 
direct NASA and the NSF to conduct heliophysics research, 
develop next-generation technologies, and transfer scientific 
research findings, data, and models to operational forecasters.
     The bill also would direct NOAA and NASA to immediately 
begin planning for back-up solar observations to prevent a 
single point of failure in the current satellite fleet, and 
direct the agencies to develop space weather benchmarks to 
characterize the nature, frequency, and intensity of expected 
space weather events. Additionally, the bill would direct the 
DHS and national security agencies to assess the vulnerability 
of critical infrastructure and national security assets to 
space weather events and manage associated risks and impacts, 
and it would direct the FAA to assess safety implications and 
methods to mitigate the safety implications of space weather 
events to civil aviation.

                          Legislative History

    Space, Science, and Competitiveness Subcommittee Ranking 
Member Gary Peters introduced S. 2817, the Space Weather 
Research and Forecasting Act, on April 19, 2016, and the bill 
was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate. Senators Cory Gardner and Cory 
Booker are original cosponsors.
    No hearings were held on the bill in the 114th Congress; 
however, the Committee's Subcommittee on Space, Science, and 
Competitiveness held a hearing in the 113th Congress entitled, 
``Assessing the Risks, Impacts, and Solutions for Space 
Threats,'' which included testimony on threats posed by space 
weather.
    On April 27, 2016, the Committee met in open Executive 
Session to consider S. 2817. Senator Peters offered a modified 
amendment in the nature of a substitute that added an FAA 
provision, a NASA finding and clarification, a Navy support 
role where practicable, and a requirement for the OSTP to 
consult with commercial industry. The modified substitute was 
approved by the Committee by voice vote to serve as the 
underlying text for consideration. The Committee then approved 
two first degree amendments to the substitute by voice vote. 
Senator Markey's amendment added to the finding on the 
Department of Interior's role related to space weather. Senator 
Schatz's modified amendment required the NSF and the DOD to 
improve, as necessary and advisable, ground-based observations 
of the Sun in order to help meet identified priorities.
    The bill, as amended, was ordered to be reported to the 
Senate favorably by voice vote.
    No similar legislation has been introduced in the House of 
Representatives.

                            Estimated Costs

    In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

S. 2817--Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act

    Summary: S. 2817 would require the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to capture imagery of coronal 
mass ejections (CMEs). A CME is the release of large quantities 
of matter and electromagnetic radiation from the sun. The bill 
also would largely codify existing multi-agency efforts under 
the National Space Weather Program.
    Based on information provided by NOAA and assuming 
appropriation of the necessary amounts, CBO estimates that 
acquiring and launching into space the equipment necessary to 
capture imagery of CMEs would cost $182 million over the 2017-
2021 period.
    Enacting S. 2817 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. CBO 
estimates that enacting the legislation would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2027.
    S. 2817 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary effect of S. 2817 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                              --------------------------------------------------
                                                                2017    2018    2019    2020    2021   2017-2021
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 INCREASES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
 
Estimated Authorization Level................................       1      20      80      70      40       211
Estimated Outlays............................................       1       8      45      70      58       182
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 
2817 will be enacted by the end of 2016 and that the necessary 
amounts will be appropriated for each fiscal year.
    Currently, the National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration (NASA) operates several spacecraft that provide 
imagery of CMEs; however, those vehicles are outdated. S. 2817 
would require NOAA to assume that responsibility and ensure the 
United States continues to capture images of earth-directed 
CMEs. Based on an analysis of information provided by the 
agency and assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts, CBO 
estimates that securing that capability would cost $182 million 
over the 2017-2021 period. Those amounts would be used to 
acquire a coronagraph, a spacecraft, and a launch vehicle by 
2022. CBO expects that most of that spending would occur in the 
years leading up to the launch as NOAA would need to acquire 
and establish the flight and ground systems necessary to 
operate the spacecraft well in advance of the launch. 
Additional amounts would be necessary in 2022 and beyond in 
order to operate and maintain the spacecraft and coronagraph.
    Other provisions in the bill would codify ongoing 
activities carried out by several agencies under the National 
Space Weather Program. In 2016, those agencies spent a combined 
$160 million on activities related to space weather. Because 
the activities required under those provisions could be carried 
out at existing funding levels, CBO estimates that implementing 
those provisions would not affect the federal budget.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: None.
    Increase in long-term direct spending and deficits: CBO 
estimates that enacting S. 2817 would not increase net direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2027.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 2817 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Jeff LaFave; Impact on 
state, local, and tribal governments: Jon Sperl; Impact on the 
private sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: H. Samuel Papenfuss; Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                           Regulatory Impact

    In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:

                       number of persons covered

    S. 2817 as reported does not create any new programs or 
impose any new regulatory requirements, and therefore would not 
subject any individuals or businesses to new regulations.

                            economic impact

    The legislation is not expected to have a negative impact 
on the Nation's economy. On the contrary, it will likely reduce 
adverse economic impacts if space weather events occur by 
increasing preparedness.

                                privacy

    The reported bill is not expected to impact the personal 
privacy of individuals.

                               paperwork

    S. 2817 would require the Director of the OSTP to submit a 
report to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Science, 
Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives regarding 
the integrated strategy for solar and solar wind observations 
beyond the lifetime of the current assets. S. 2817 also would 
direct the Space Weather Interagency Working Group to develop 
preliminary benchmarks to describe the nature, frequency, and 
intensity of space weather disturbances. The Space Weather 
Interagency Working Group would be directed to publish the 
final benchmarks not later than 18 months after the preliminary 
benchmarks are developed.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 
rule.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title.

    This section would provide the short title of the bill, the 
Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act.

Section 2. Space weather.

    This section would include the findings of Congress and 
Federal agency roles regarding space weather. The NSTC, under 
the OSTP, would be directed to establish an interagency working 
group on space weather to improve the ability of the United 
States to prepare, avoid, mitigate, respond to, and recover 
from potentially devastating impacts of space weather events. 
This section also would direct the OSTP to coordinate program 
responsibilities of the National Space Weather Program members 
based on agency capabilities. This section also would direct 
the OSTP, in coordination with NOAA, NASA, the NSF, and the 
DOD, and in consultation with academic and commercial 
communities, to develop an integrated strategy for solar and 
solar wind observations beyond the lifetime of current assets. 
It also would direct NASA to maintain SOHO/LASCO operations for 
as long as the satellite continues to deliver quality 
observations.
    This section also would direct NOAA to secure reliable 
secondary capability for near real-time coronal mass ejection 
imagery, prioritizing a cost-effective solution and considering 
options such as commercial solutions, prize authority, 
academic, and international partnerships. NOAA would be 
directed to develop an operational contingency plan to provide 
continuous space weather forecasting in the event of a SOHO/
LASCO failure, and develop requirements and a plan for follow-
on space-based observations for operational purposes.
    This section would direct the NSF, the Air Force, and where 
practicable the Navy, to maintain and improve, as necessary and 
advisable, ground-based observations of the Sun in order to 
help meet identified priorities, and provide space weather 
data. It also would require the NSF to provide key data streams 
for research and space weather model development, to develop 
experimental models for scientific purposes, and to support the 
transition of experimental models to operations. This section 
also would direct NOAA, the Air Force, and, where practicable, 
the Navy to conduct and publish a survey to identify and 
prioritize the needs of space weather forecast users. It also 
would require the NSF, NASA, and the DOD to continue to carry 
out basic research activities on heliophysics, geospace 
science, and space weather, and require the NSF, NOAA, and NASA 
to pursue multidisciplinary research in subjects that further 
our understanding of solar physics, space physics, and space 
weather.
    This section also would direct NASA to implement missions 
that meet the science objectives identified by the NAS decadal 
surveys, and direct NASA, the NSF, NOAA, the Air Force, and, 
where practicable, the Navy to develop a formal mechanism to 
transition research to operations and enhance coordination 
between modeling and forecasting centers. This section would 
require NASA and the NSF to support the development of 
technologies and instrumentation to improve space weather 
forecasting lead-time and accuracy. Lastly, this section would 
direct NASA and the NSF to make space weather data obtained for 
scientific research purposes available to space weather 
forecasters and operations centers.

Section 3. Space weather metrics.

    This section would define ``space weather disturbance'' and 
``space weather benchmark.'' It also would direct the Space 
Weather Interagency Working Group to assess existing data, 
historical records, models, and peer-reviewed studies on space 
weather and develop preliminary benchmarks for measuring solar 
disturbances, and update those benchmarks as necessary. This 
section would require the Space Weather Interagency Working 
Group to publish final benchmarks, and require the NAS to 
review those benchmarks.

Section 4. Protection of critical infrastructure.

    This section would direct NOAA, in consultation with the 
heads of other relevant Federal agencies, to provide 
information about space weather hazards to the DHS. It would 
direct the DHS, in consultation with NOAA and the heads of 
other relevant agencies, to include an assessment of the 
vulnerability of critical infrastructure to space weather 
events and support critical infrastructure providers in 
managing risks and impacts associated with space weather.

Section 5. Protection of national security assets.

    This section would direct the National Security Council, in 
consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, the 
Secretary of Defense, and the heads of other relevant Federal 
agencies, to assess the vulnerability of the national security 
community to space weather events and develop mechanisms to 
protect national security assets from space weather threats.

Section 6. Ensuring the safety of civil aviation.

    This section would direct the FAA, in consultation with the 
heads of other relevant Federal agencies, to assess safety 
implications and methods to mitigate the safety implications of 
space weather events to civil aviation. This section also would 
direct the FAA, in consultation with the heads of other 
relevant Federal agencies, to develop methods to increase 
interaction between the aviation, space weather research, and 
service provider communities.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
material is printed in italic, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman):

            TITLE 51. NATIONAL AND COMMERCIAL SPACE PROGRAMS


                       CHAPTER 607--SPACE WEATHER

60701. Space weather
60702. Observations and forecasting
60703. Research and technology
60704. Space weather data.

 60701. Space weather

  (a) Findings.--Congress makes the following findings:
          (1) Space weather events pose a significant threat to 
        humans working in the space environment and to modern 
        technological systems.
          (2) The effects of severe space weather events on the 
        electric power grid, satellites and satellite 
        communications and information, airline operations, 
        astronauts living and working in space, and space-based 
        position, navigation, and timing systems could have 
        significant societal, economic, national security, and 
        health impacts.
          (3) Earth and space observations provide crucial data 
        necessary to predict and warn about space weather 
        events.
          (4) Clear roles and accountability of Federal 
        departments and agencies are critical for an efficient 
        and effective response to threats posed by space 
        weather.
          (5) In October 2015, the National Science and 
        Technology Council published a National Space Weather 
        Strategy and a National Space Weather Action Plan 
        seeking to integrate national space weather efforts and 
        add new capabilities to meet increasing demand for 
        space weather information.
  (b) Federal Agency Roles.--
          (1) Findings.--Congress finds that--
                  (A) the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
                Administration provides operational space 
                weather forecasting and monitoring for civil 
                applications, maintains ground and space-based 
                assets to provide observations needed for 
                forecasting, prediction, and warnings, and 
                develops requirements for space weather 
                forecasting technologies and science;
                  (B) the Department of Defense provides 
                operational space weather forecasting, 
                monitoring, and research for the department's 
                unique missions and applications;
                  (C) the National Aeronautics and Space 
                Administration provides increased understanding 
                of the fundamental physics of the Sun-Earth 
                system through space-based observations and 
                modeling, develops new space-based technologies 
                and missions, and monitors space weather for 
                NASA's space missions;
                  (D) the National Science Foundation provides 
                increased understanding of the Sun-Earth system 
                through ground-based measurements, 
                technologies, and modeling;
                  (E) the Department of the Interior collects, 
                distributes, and archives operational ground-
                based magnetometer data in the United States 
                and its territories, and works with the 
                international community to improve global 
                geophysical monitoring and develops crustal 
                conductivity models to assess and mitigate risk 
                from space weather induced electric ground 
                currents; and
                  (F) the Federal Aviation Administration 
                provides operational requirements for space 
                weather services in support of aviation and for 
                coordination of these requirements with the 
                International Civil Aviation Organization, 
                integrates space weather data and products into 
                the Next Generation Air Transportation System, 
                and conducts real-time monitoring of the 
                charged particle radiation environment to 
                protect the health and safety of crew and 
                passengers during space weather events.
          (2) Office of science and technology policy.--The 
        Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy 
        shall--
                  (A) coordinate the development and 
                implementation of Federal Government activities 
                to improve the Nation's ability to prepare, 
                avoid, mitigate, respond to, and recover from 
                potentially devastating impacts of space 
                weather events; and
                  (B) coordinate the activities of the National 
                Space Weather Program members.
  (c) Space Weather Interagency Working Group.--In order to 
continue coordination of executive branch efforts to 
understand, prepare, coordinate, and plan for space weather, 
the National Science and Technology Council shall establish an 
interagency working group on space weather that includes 
representatives of the Federal agencies participating in the 
National Space Weather Program, and of other Federal agencies, 
as appropriate.
  (d) National Space Weather Program.--In order to understand 
and respond to the adverse effects of space weather, the 
National Space Weather Program shall leverage capabilities 
across participating Federal agencies, including--
          (1) the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
        Administration;
          (2) the National Aeronautics and Space 
        Administration;
          (3) the National Science Foundation;
          (4) the Department of Defense;
          (5) the Department of the Interior;
          (6) the Department of Homeland Security;
          (7) the Department of Energy;
          (8) the Department of Transportation, including the 
        Federal Aviation Administration; and
          (9) the Department of State.
  (e) Interagency Agreements.--
          (1) Sense of congress.--It is the sense of Congress 
        that the interagency collaboration between the National 
        Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National 
        Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on terrestrial 
        weather observations provides--
                  (A) an effective mechanism for improving 
                weather and climate data collection while 
                avoiding unnecessary duplication of 
                capabilities across Federal agencies; and
                  (B) an agency collaboration model that could 
                benefit space weather observations.
          (2) Interagency agreements.--The Administrator of the 
        National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the 
        Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
        Administration shall enter into 1 or more interagency 
        agreements providing for cooperation and collaboration 
        in the development of space weather spacecraft, 
        instruments, and technologies in accordance with this 
        chapter.

 60702. Observations and forecasting

  (a) Policy.--It is the policy of the United States to 
establish and sustain a baseline capability for space weather 
observations.
  (b) Integrated Strategy.--
          (1) In general.--The Director of the Office of 
        Science and Technology Policy, in coordination with the 
        Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
        Administration, the Administrator of the National 
        Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Director of 
        the National Science Foundation, and the Secretary of 
        Defense, and in consultation with the academic and 
        commercial communities, shall develop an integrated 
        strategy for solar and solar wind observations beyond 
        the lifetime of current assets, that considers--
                  (A) the provision of solar wind measurements 
                and other measurements essential to space 
                weather forecasting; and
                  (B) the provision of solar and space weather 
                measurements important for scientific purposes.
          (2) Considerations.--In developing the strategy under 
        paragraph (1), the Director of the Office of Science 
        and Technology Policy shall consider small satellite 
        options, hosted payloads, commercial options, 
        international options, and prize authority.
  (c) Critical Observations.--In order to sustain current 
space-based observational capabilities, the Administrator of 
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration shall--
          (1) in cooperation with the European Space Agency, 
        maintain operations of the Solar and Heliospheric 
        Observatory/Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph 
        (referred to in this section as ``SOHO/LASCO'') for as 
        long as the satellite continues to deliver quality 
        observations; and
          (2) prioritize the reception of LASCO data.
  (d) Additional Capability for Solar Imaging.--
          (1) In general.--The Administrator of the National 
        Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shall secure 
        reliable secondary capability for near real-time 
        coronal mass ejection imagery.
          (2) Options.--The Administrator of the National 
        Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in coordination 
        with the Secretary of Defense and the Administrator of 
        the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 
        shall develop options to build and deploy 1 or more 
        instruments for near real-time coronal mass ejection 
        imagery.
          (3) Considerations.--In developing options under 
        paragraph (2), the Administrator of the National 
        Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shall consider 
        commercial solutions, prize authority, academic and 
        international partnerships, microsatellites, ground-
        based instruments, and opportunities to deploy the 
        instrument or instruments as a secondary payload on an 
        upcoming planned launch.
          (4) Costs.--In implementing paragraph (1), the 
        Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
        Administration shall prioritize a cost-effective 
        solution.
          (5) Operational planning.--The Administrator of the 
        National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shall 
        develop an operational contingency plan to provide 
        continuous space weather forecasting in the event of a 
        SOHO/LASCO failure.
          (6) Briefing.--Not later than 120 days after the date 
        of enactment of the Space Weather Research and 
        Forecasting Act, the Administrator of the National 
        Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shall provide a 
        briefing to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
        Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on 
        Science, Space, and Technology of the House of 
        Representatives on the options for building and 
        deploying the instrument or instruments described in 
        paragraph (2) and the operational contingency plan 
        developed under paragraph (5).
  (e) Follow-on Space-based Observations.--The Administrator of 
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in 
coordination with the Secretary of Defense, shall develop 
requirements and a plan for follow-on space-based observations 
for operational purposes, in accordance with the integrated 
strategy developed under subsection (b).
  (f) Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
enactment of the Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act, 
the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy 
shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Science, 
Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives a report 
on the integrated strategy under subsection (b), including the 
plans for follow-on space-based observations under subsection 
(e).
  (g) Ground-based Observations.--The National Science 
Foundation, the Air Force, and where practicable in support of 
the Air Force, the Navy shall each--
          (1) maintain and improve, as necessary and advisable, 
        ground-based observations of the Sun in order to help 
        meet the priorities identified in section 60703(a); and
          (2) provide space weather data by means of its set of 
        ground-based facilities, including radars, lidars, 
        magnetometers, radio receivers, aurora and airglow 
        imagers, spectrometers, interferometers, and solar 
        observatories.
  (h) Ground-based Observations Data.--The National Science 
Foundation shall--
          (1) provide key data streams from the platforms 
        described in subsection (g) for research and to support 
        space weather model development;
          (2) develop experimental models for scientific 
        purposes; and
          (3) support the transition of the experimental models 
        to operations where appropriate.

 60703. Research and technology

  (a) User Needs.--
          (1) In general.--The Administrator of the National 
        Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Secretary 
        of the Air Force, and where practicable in support of 
        the Air Force, the Secretary of the Navy, in 
        conjunction with the heads of other relevant Federal 
        agencies, shall conduct a comprehensive survey to 
        identify and prioritize the needs of space weather 
        forecast users, including space weather data and space 
        weather forecast data needed to improve services and 
        inform research priorities and technology needs.
          (2) Contents.--In conducting the comprehensive survey 
        under paragraph (1), the Administrator of the National 
        Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Secretary 
        of the Air Force, and where practicable in support of 
        the Air Force, the Secretary of the Navy, at a minimum, 
        shall--
                  (A) consider the goals for forecast lead 
                time, accuracy, coverage, timeliness, data 
                rate, and data quality for space weather 
                observations;
                  (B) identify opportunities to address the 
                needs identified under paragraph (1) through 
                collaborations with academia, the private 
                sector, and the international community;
                  (C) identify opportunities for new 
                technologies and instrumentation to address the 
                needs identified under paragraph (1); and
                  (D) publish a report on the findings under 
                subparagraphs (A) through (C).
          (3) Publication.--Not later than 1 year after the 
        date of enactment of the Space Weather Research and 
        Forecasting Act, the Administrator of the National 
        Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Secretary 
        of the Air Force, and where practicable in support of 
        the Air Force, the Secretary of the Navy, shall--
                  (A) make the results of the comprehensive 
                survey publicly available; and
                  (B) notify the Committee on Commerce, 
                Science, and Transportation of the Senate and 
                the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology 
                of the House of Representatives of the 
                publication under subparagraph (A).
  (b) Research Activities.--
          (1) Basic research.--As part of the National Space 
        Weather Program, the Director of the National Science 
        Foundation, Administrator of the National Aeronautics 
        and Space Administration, and Secretary of Defense 
        shall continue to carry out basic research activities 
        on heliophysics, geospace science, and space weather 
        and support competitive, merit-based, peer-reviewed 
        proposals for research, modeling, and monitoring of 
        space weather and its impacts, including science goals 
        outlined in Solar and Space Physics Decadal surveys 
        conducted by the National Academy of Sciences.
          (2) Multidisciplinary research.--
                  (A) Findings.--Congress finds that the 
                multidisciplinary nature of solar and space 
                physics creates funding challenges that require 
                coordination across scientific disciplines and 
                Federal agencies.
                  (B) Multidisciplinary research.--As part of 
                the National Space Weather Program, the 
                Director of the National Science Foundation, 
                the Administrator of the National Oceanic and 
                Atmospheric Administration, and the 
                Administrator of the National Aeronautics and 
                Space Administration shall pursue 
                multidisciplinary research in subjects that 
                further our understanding of solar physics, 
                space physics, and space weather.
                  (C) Sense of congress.--It is the sense of 
                Congress that the Administrator of the National 
                Aeronautics and Space Administration and 
                Director of the National Science Foundation 
                should support competitively awarded 
                Heliophysics Science Centers.
  (c) Science Missions.--The Administrator of the National 
Aeronautics and Space Administration shall seek to implement 
missions that meet the science objectives identified in Solar 
and Space Physics Decadal surveys conducted by the National 
Academy of Sciences.
  (d) Research to Operations.--
          (1) In general.--The Administrator of the National 
        Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Director of 
        the National Science Foundation, the Administrator of 
        the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 
        the Secretary of the Air Force, and where practicable 
        in support of the Air Force, the Secretary of the Navy, 
        shall--
                  (A) develop a formal mechanism to transition 
                National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 
                National Science Foundation, Air Force, and 
                Navy research findings, models, and 
                capabilities, as appropriate, to National 
                Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and 
                Department of Defense space weather operational 
                forecasting centers; and
                  (B) enhance coordination between research 
                modeling centers and forecasting centers.
          (2) Operational needs.--The Administrator of the 
        National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the 
        Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the 
        Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space 
        Administration and the Director of the National Science 
        Foundation, shall develop a formal mechanism to 
        communicate the operational needs of space weather 
        forecasters to the research community.
  (e) Technology Development.--
          (1) Findings.--Congress finds that observations and 
        measurements closer to the Sun and advanced 
        instrumentation would provide for more advanced warning 
        of space weather disturbances (as defined in section 3 
        of the Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act).
          (2) Technology and instrumentation development.--The 
        Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space 
        Administration and the Director of the National Science 
        Foundation shall support the development of 
        technologies and instrumentation to improve space 
        weather forecasting lead-time and accuracy to meet the 
        needs identified by the Administrator of the National 
        Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

 60704. Space weather data

  (a) In General.--The Administrator of the National 
Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Director of the 
National Science Foundation shall--
          (1) make space weather related data obtained for 
        scientific research purposes available to space weather 
        forecasters and operations centers; and
          (2) support model development and model applications 
        to space weather forecasting.
  (b) Research.--The Administrator of the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration shall make space weather related 
data obtained from operational forecasting available for 
scientific research.

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION AUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2010


                  [Public Law 111-267; 124 Stat. 2805]

[SEC. 809. SPACE WEATHER.

                           [42 U.S.C. 18388]

  [(a) Findings.--The Congress finds the following:
          [(1) Space weather events pose a significant threat 
        to modern technological systems.
          [(2) The effects of severe space weather events on 
        the electric power grid, telecommunications and 
        entertainment satellites, airline communications during 
        polar routes, and space-based position, navigation and 
        timing systems could have significant societal, 
        economic, national security, and health impacts.
          [(3) Earth and Space Observing satellites, such as 
        the Advanced Composition Explorer, Geostationary 
        Operational Environmental Satellites, Polar Operational 
        Environmental Satellites, and Defense Meteorological 
        Satellites, provide crucial data necessary to predict 
        space weather events.
  [(b) Action Required.--The Director of OSTP shall--
          [(1) improve the Nation's ability to prepare, avoid, 
        mitigate, respond to, and recover from potentially 
        devastating impacts of space weather events;
          [(2) coordinate the operational activities of the 
        National Space Weather Program Council members, 
        including the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center and 
        the U.S. Air Force Weather Agency; and
          [(3) submit a report to the appropriate committees of 
        Congress within 180 days after the date of enactment of 
        this Act that--
                  [(A) details the current data sources, both 
                space- and ground-based, that are necessary for 
                space weather forecasting; and
                  [(B) details the space- and ground-based 
                systems that will be required to gather data 
                necessary for space weather forecasting for the 
                next 10 years.]

                                  [all]