Using Technical Expertise to Keep Satellite Communications Signals Clear

Noblis has a long history and experience working with NOAA/NESDIS’ satellites and ground systems

One of the most important responsibilities of the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Services (NESDIS) is managing our nation’s operational environmental satellites for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

These satellites use part of a dedicated radio frequency band, known as L-Band, to transmit a continuous steam of meteorological data to NOAA/NESDIS’ ground stations and to many non-government users. This data is used around the world to forecast the weather, analyze environmental and climate phenomena, and monitor potential hazards such as pending snow storms, tropical storms, hurricanes, and coastal floods. The L-Band also contains the primary telemetry link that carries the spacecraft health and safety data to the NOAA/NESDIS controllers.

When a government policy change opened the L-Band spectrum for commercial use by broadband internet providers, NOAA/NESDIS raised concerns that these new transmissions will be so powerful and so close to some of NOAA/NESDIS’ ground stations that they will significantly interfere with, and possibly overwhelm, NOAA/NESDIS’ data transmissions.

Noblis has been supporting NOAA/NESDIS for 35 years. This long history and experience working with NOAA/NESDIS’ satellites and ground systems enabled us to pinpoint the precise data that NOAA/NESDIS needed to accurately predict the conditions that would interfere with the data reception from their weather satellites. We also provided technical input that allowed NOAA/NESDIS to develop criteria to protect their satellites from interference.

As the L-Band debate continues, Noblis’ work and guidance will be instrumental in determining if the transmissions used by internet service providers will have a detrimental impact on NOAA/NESDIS’ data communications.

Mary Ann Davis

Mary Ann is an experienced account and program manager leading a team of engineers and analysts who provide weather satellite and systems engineering expertise.
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