Microsatellite Technologies for Civil Earth Observations, 71141-71143 [2014-28178]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 230 / Monday, December 1, 2014 / Notices good faith throughout the agency decision-making process and develop and maintain effective communication, coordination, and cooperation with Indian Tribes. The NRC representative for consultations with Tribal officials or representatives will be of an appropriate rank of NRC representatives and level of interaction commensurate with the circumstances. The appropriate level of interaction will be determined by past and current practices, continuing dialogue between NRC and Tribal governments, and program office consultation procedures. 5. The NRC Will Coordinate With Other Federal Agencies When the Commission’s action involves other Federal agencies, the NRC will perform its Tribal consultation jointly with other Federal agencies, as appropriate. asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 6. The NRC Will Encourage Participation by State-Recognized Tribes The NRC recognizes the distinction between Indian Tribes who are Federally recognized and those who are not. The NRC will outreach to States to identify the appropriate Staterecognized Tribes to invite to participate in its regulatory process, including opportunities related to rulemaking, hearings, licensing, decommissioning, and enforcement. Designated Official and Tribal Liaisons The Deputy Executive Director for Materials, Waste, Research, State, Tribal and Compliance Programs serves as the NRC’s designated official for Tribal consultations.3 The designated official shall ensure that agency program personnel have considered the Tribal implications related to their responsibilities within the NRC’s scope of jurisdiction and shall facilitate meaningful and timely consultation and coordination concerning the development, administration, and enforcement of NRC’s regulatory actions that have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian Tribes. The designated official shall be supported by staff who have functional responsibility to serve as intergovernmental liaisons to Indian Tribes, under NRC Management Directive 5.1. These NRC Tribal liaisons 3 In 2006, the Commission created the position of Deputy Executive Director for Materials, Waste, Research, State, Tribal and Compliance Programs (SECY–06–0125, ‘‘Proposed Reorganization of the Offices of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards and State and Tribal Programs’’ (ADAMS Accession No. ML061950452)). The position includes different responsibilities, including that of the Commission’s designated official for Tribal consultations. VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:08 Nov 28, 2014 Jkt 235001 will facilitate government-togovernment consultation by serving as the agency’s primary points of contact for Indian Tribes, coordinating with the appropriate office or personnel regarding programmatic inquiries, and facilitating the appropriate level of communication and exchange of information between Tribal officials and NRC staff. The Tribal liaisons shall also educate NRC staff about Tribal issues including cultural sensitivity and the Federal Trust Relationship. The designated official shall have the authority to delegate tasks to NRC Tribal liaisons as he/she deems fit. VI. Procedural Requirements Paperwork Reduction Act Statement This Policy Statement does not contain new or amended information collection requirements and, therefore, is not subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Public Protection Notification The NRC may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a request protocol for information or an information collection requirement unless the requesting document displays a currently valid OMB control number. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 10th day of November, 2014. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Rochelle C. Bavol, Acting, Secretary of the Commission. [FR Doc. 2014–27325 Filed 11–28–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY Microsatellite Technologies for Civil Earth Observations Notice of Request for Information (RFI). ACTION: The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to solicit input from interested parties on: (1) The current and near-term state of microsatellite technologies, and (2) whether microsatellite systems will be capable of meeting current and future civil Earth-observing needs. Public input provided in response to this RFI will inform the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) as to the state of technologies associated with microsatellites to meet the Nation’s civil Earth observational requirements. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 71141 Responses must be received by 30 days from publication date to be considered. DATES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods: • Downloadable form/email: To aid in information collection and analysis, OSTP encourages responders to fill out the downloadable form located at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/ default/files/microsites/ostp/microsat_ rfi_final.pdf and email that form, as an attachment, to EarthObsStudy@ OSTP.gov. Please include ‘‘Microsatellite Technologies for Civil Earth Observations’’ in the subject line of the message. • Fax: (202) 456–6071. • Mail: Office of Science and Technology Policy, 1650 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20504. Information submitted by postal mail should allow ample time for processing. Response to this RFI is voluntary. Respondents need not respond to each section of the RFI; however, they should clearly identify those sections to which they are responding by listing the corresponding number for each point listed below. Respondents must mark their responses as ‘‘Business Confidential’’ if responses contain information that is business proprietary, or commercial confidential information. OSTP will protect such information consistent with applicable law. Please note that the U.S. Government will not pay for response preparation, or for the use of any information contained in the response. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Timothy Stryker, 202–419–3471, tstryker@ostp.eop.gov, OSTP. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: ADDRESSES: Background In recent decades, the United States’ Earth-observing capacity has grown in scale and complexity, with multiple Federal agencies collecting information about the state of the Earth system. Earth observation systems consist of sensing elements that directly or indirectly collect observations of the Earth, measure environmental parameters, or survey biological or other Earth resources (such as land surface, biosphere, solid Earth, atmosphere, and oceans). The platforms carrying these sensing elements may be mobile or fixed, and are space-based, airborne, terrestrial, freshwater, or marine-based. Space-based observation systems have been used for decades to collect critical information used by the civil Earth observation community. The high vantage point afforded by Earth orbit provides the opportunity to conduct E:\FR\FM\01DEN1.SGM 01DEN1 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 71142 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 230 / Monday, December 1, 2014 / Notices observations covering broad areas, over long periods with frequent revisit rates. Satellite platforms can be costly, and technology improvements are implemented on lengthy timeframes. As microsatellite technology improves, the cost of collecting sustained and scientific observations from space may decrease, not only reducing costs for current observations, but potentially enabling additional missions. In 2013, the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) released a National Strategy for Civil Earth Observations (http:// www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/ microsites/ostp/nstc_2013_ earthobsstrategy.pdf) outlining a policy framework organized by Societal Benefit Areas (SBAs) to enable stable, continuous, and coordinated global Earth-observation capabilities for the benefit of society. Societal benefits accrue from Earth observations that inform scientific research, policy, and decision-making. SBAs are interconnected at local, regional, national, and international scales, and include scientific research, economic activities, and environmental and social domains. Many SBAs involve critical government functions, such as the continuity of national government and the protection of life and property. The NSTC framework enabled the development of a National Plan for Civil Earth Observations informed by a government-wide assessment of the impact of more than 350 Earth observation systems. The National Plan for Civil Earth Observations (http:// www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/ microsites/ostp/NSTC/2014_national_ plan_for_civil_earth_observations.pdf) published in July 2014, lists the highest priority measurement groups for observations as: • Weather and seasonal climate monitoring and prediction, which characterize phenomena such as precipitation, storms, wind, floods, sea state, drought, wildfires, ice, air quality (including ozone), and weather risks to human health and transportation. • Dynamic land-surface monitoring and characterization to support food and water security, water availability and quality, fire detection and suppression, human health, forestry, soil characterization (including soil moisture), hazards mapping and response, and natural-resource management. • Elevation and geo-location to support food and water security, hazard and risk mapping, and natural-resource management. VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:08 Nov 28, 2014 Jkt 235001 • Water level and flow to support coastal inundation and inland flooding, water availability, hydropower management, transportation, human health, water equivalent of snow, and tsunami hazard preparedness. In addition to these highest priority measurement areas, the National Plan (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/ default/files/microsites/ostp/NSTC/ 2014_national_plan_for_civil_earth_ observations.pdf) specifies additional categories of measurement areas that are also important for sustained observations for public services. These categories include: • Ecosystem and biodiversity resource surveys for terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems, including fisheries and wildlife management; • Environmental-quality monitoring, specifically disease-vector surveillance, water quality, and air quality associated with changes in atmospheric composition, including particulate matter and short-lived climate pollutants; • Geo-hazard monitoring for Earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, regional and local subsidence (e.g., sinkholes), inundation, and tsunamis; and • Space-weather monitoring of geomagnetic storms, sunspots, solar flares, associated x-ray and ultraviolet emissions, solar wind (including coronal mass ejection), solar energetic particles, traveling ionosphere disturbances, and associated changes of the Earth’s geomagnetic field and ionosphere for their impact on human activities. The National Plan also describes the following measurement categories as essential to the Federal government’s research objectives: • Atmospheric state, including measurements of temperature, pressure, humidity, wind, and ozone at the accuracy required for long-term climate research, and, as appropriate, to improve short and medium-range weather forecasting; • Cryosphere, including measurements of ice sheets, glaciers, permafrost, snow, and sea ice extent and thickness; • Earth’s energy budget, including total solar irradiance and Earth’s radiation budget, and the reflectance and scattering properties of clouds, aerosols, and greenhouse gases, specifically for understanding Earth’s sensitivity to climate change; • Extremes, including specific and routine observations for the study of extreme temperatures, drought, precipitation, and wind; PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 • Geo-hazard research, including monitoring land-surface deformation to better understand regional and local disaster potential and effects, and the monitoring of phenomena that precede natural disasters (such as seismic, stress, strain, geochemical, and temperature changes); • Greenhouse gas emissions and concentrations, including understanding sources and sinks of greenhouse gases, as well as changes in long-lived greenhouse gas and shortlived climate pollutant concentrations over time; • Integrated geophysical and biosphere characterization (terrestrial, freshwater, and marine), including longterm dynamics to understand ecosystem change and biogeochemical processes (particularly the carbon cycle); • Ocean state, including observations of sea levels, temperature, salinity, pH, alkalinity, currents and characteristics of marine ecosystems; • Space weather, including long-term understanding of the Earth-Sun relationship, solar dynamics, and the drivers of space-weather impacts at the Earth’s surface (such as coupling between space weather and geomagnetic storms); and • Water cycle, including the analysis of droughts, floods, and water availability (precipitation, soil moisture, snow-water equivalent, evapotranspiration, groundwater, surface water, and runoff). Societal Benefit Areas (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/ default/files/microsites/ostp/nstc_2013_ earthobsstrategy.pdf) • Agriculture and Forestry: Supporting sustainable agriculture and forestry. • Biodiversity: Understanding and conserving biodiversity. • Climate: Understanding, assessing, predicting, mitigating, and adapting to climate variability and related global change. • Disasters: Reducing loss of life, property, and ecosystem damage from natural and human-induced disasters. • Ecosystems (Terrestrial and Freshwater): Improving the management and protection of terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. • Energy and Mineral Resources: Improving the identification and management of energy and mineral resources. • Human Health: Understanding environmental factors affecting human health and well-being. • Ocean and Coastal Resources and Ecosystems: Understanding and protecting ocean, coastal, and Great E:\FR\FM\01DEN1.SGM 01DEN1 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 230 / Monday, December 1, 2014 / Notices Lakes populations and resources (including fisheries, aquaculture, and marine ecosystems). • Space Weather: Understanding, assessing, predicting, and mitigating the effects of space weather on technological systems (including satellites, power grids, communications, and navigation). • Transportation: Improving the safety and efficiency of all modes of transportation (including air, highway, railway, and marine). • Water Resources: Improving water resource management through better understanding and monitoring of the water cycle. • Weather: Improving weather information, forecasting, and warning. • Reference Measurements: Improving reference measurements—the underpinnings of all the SBAs—and the fundamental measurement systems and standards supporting them (such as geodesy, bathymetry, topography, and geolocation). OSTP invites you to submit public comments (limit 5 pages) on the technical feasibility of developing microsatellites that can be deployed at equal or lower cost compared to current satellites to meet the sustained missions of the civil Earth observation community. For the purposes of this study, OSTP considers microsatellites as having a mass of less than 100 kg. In your written response, please identify the number of each topic as you address it. OSTP welcomes public input on the following topics: 1. Identify the measurement categories highlighted in the National Plan for Civil Earth Observations relevant to your mission; 2. Technical near-term (1–5 years) capabilities of microsatellite system(s) related to Earth observations capabilities as defined above; 3. Reliability, system lifetime, and maintainability; 4. Launch requirements including planned launch options (rideshare, microsatellite launch companies, etc.), if they exist; 5. Current technical limitations on microsatellites for operational Earth observing missions; and 6. Broad estimates of development, launch and operational costs of specific systems. Ted Wackler, Deputy Chief of Staff and Assistant Director. [FR Doc. 2014–28178 Filed 11–28–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3270–F5–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:08 Nov 28, 2014 Jkt 235001 SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Investment Company Act Release No. 31347; File No. 812–14331] MUFG Union Bank, N.A.; Notice of Application November 24, 2014. 71143 The following is a summary of the application. The complete application may be obtained via the Commission’s Web site by searching for the file number, or for an applicant using the Company name box, at http:// www.sec.gov/search/search.htm or by calling (202) 551–8090. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Applicant’s Representations 1. The applicant is a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFG).1 MUFG is a global financial services organization that offers a broad range of banking, trust, and securities services to individuals and entities around the SUMMARY: Summary of Application: world. The applicant is frequently Applicant requests an order that would selected to act as trustee in connection permit an issuer of asset-backed with ABS issued by Issuers. 2. An ABS transaction typically securities (‘‘ABS’’) that is not registered involves the transfer of assets by a as an investment company under the seller, usually by a ‘‘sponsor,’’ to a Act in reliance on Rule 3a–7 under the bankruptcy remote special purpose Act (an ‘‘Issuer’’) to appoint the corporate or trust entity that is applicant as a trustee in connection established for the sole purpose of with the Issuer’s ABS when the holding the assets and issuing ABS to applicant is affiliated with an investors (an ‘‘ABS Transaction’’). underwriter for the Issuer’s ABS. Payments of interest and principle on Applicant: MUFG Union Bank, N.A. DATES: Filing Dates: The application was the ABS depend primarily on the cash flow generated by the pool of assets filed on July 11, 2014 and amended on owned by the Issuer. October 3, 2014 and October 10, 2014. 3. The parties to an ABS Transaction Hearing or Notification of Hearing: An enter into several transaction order granting the application will be agreements that provide for the holding issued unless the Commission orders a hearing. Interested persons may request of the assets by the Issuer and define the rights and responsibilities of the parties a hearing by writing to the to the transaction (‘‘Transaction Commission’s Secretary and serving Documents’’). The operative Transaction applicant with a copy of the request, Document governing the trustee is personally or by mail. Hearing requests referred to herein as the ‘‘Agreement.’’ should be received by the Commission 4. The sponsor of an ABS Transaction by 5:30 p.m. on December 19, 2014 and assembles the pool of assets by should be accompanied by proof of purchasing or funding them, describes service on the applicant, in the form of them in the offering materials, and an affidavit or, for lawyers, a certificate retains the underwriter to sell interests of service. Pursuant to Rule 0–5 under in the assets to investors. The sponsor the Act, hearing requests should state determines the structure, drafts the the nature of the writer’s interest, any documents, and prices the ABS facts bearing upon the desirability of a Transaction. The sponsor selects the hearing on the matter, the reason for the other parties to the ABS Transaction, request, and the issues contested. including the underwriter, the servicer, Persons who wish to be notified of a and the trustee. hearing may request notification by 5. The servicer, either directly or writing to the Commission’s Secretary. through subservicers, manages the ADDRESSES: The Commission: Brent J. assets held by the Issuer. The servicer Fields, Secretary, U.S. Securities and typically collects the income from the Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., assets and remits the income to the Washington, DC 20549–1090. Applicant: MUFG Union Bank, N.A., 1 The applicant also requests that the order apply to an Issuer’s future appointment of any other entity 445 S. Figueroa Street, Suite 1203, Los controlling, controlled by, or under common Angeles, CA 90071. control (as defined in Section 2(a)(9) of the Act) FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: with the applicant as a trustee in connection with an Issuer’s ABS. The applicant represents that any Rochelle Kauffman Plesset, Senior other entity intending to rely on this relief will Counsel, at (202) 551–6840, or Nadya comply with the terms and conditions of the Roytblat, Assistant Chief Counsel at application. Any existing entity currently intending (202) 551–0825 (Division of Investment to rely on the requested order has been named as an applicant. Management, Chief Counsel’s Office). Securities and Exchange Commission (‘‘Commission’’). ACTION: Notice of an application under Section 6(c) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (‘‘Act’’) for an exemption from certain requirements of Rule 3a– 7(a)(4)(i) under the Act. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00060 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\01DEN1.SGM 01DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 230 (Monday, December 1, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 71141-71143]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-28178]


=======================================================================
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OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY


Microsatellite Technologies for Civil Earth Observations

ACTION: Notice of Request for Information (RFI).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to 
solicit input from interested parties on: (1) The current and near-term 
state of microsatellite technologies, and (2) whether microsatellite 
systems will be capable of meeting current and future civil Earth-
observing needs.
    Public input provided in response to this RFI will inform the 
Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) as to the state of 
technologies associated with microsatellites to meet the Nation's civil 
Earth observational requirements.

DATES: Responses must be received by 30 days from publication date to 
be considered.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     Downloadable form/email: To aid in information collection 
and analysis, OSTP encourages responders to fill out the downloadable 
form located at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/microsat_rfi_final.pdf and email that form, as an 
attachment, to EarthObsStudy@OSTP.gov. Please include ``Microsatellite 
Technologies for Civil Earth Observations'' in the subject line of the 
message.
     Fax: (202) 456-6071.
     Mail: Office of Science and Technology Policy, 1650 
Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20504. Information submitted by 
postal mail should allow ample time for processing.
    Response to this RFI is voluntary. Respondents need not respond to 
each section of the RFI; however, they should clearly identify those 
sections to which they are responding by listing the corresponding 
number for each point listed below. Respondents must mark their 
responses as ``Business Confidential'' if responses contain information 
that is business proprietary, or commercial confidential information. 
OSTP will protect such information consistent with applicable law.
    Please note that the U.S. Government will not pay for response 
preparation, or for the use of any information contained in the 
response.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Timothy Stryker, 202-419-3471, 
tstryker@ostp.eop.gov, OSTP.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    In recent decades, the United States' Earth-observing capacity has 
grown in scale and complexity, with multiple Federal agencies 
collecting information about the state of the Earth system. Earth 
observation systems consist of sensing elements that directly or 
indirectly collect observations of the Earth, measure environmental 
parameters, or survey biological or other Earth resources (such as land 
surface, biosphere, solid Earth, atmosphere, and oceans). The platforms 
carrying these sensing elements may be mobile or fixed, and are space-
based, airborne, terrestrial, freshwater, or marine-based.
    Space-based observation systems have been used for decades to 
collect critical information used by the civil Earth observation 
community. The high vantage point afforded by Earth orbit provides the 
opportunity to conduct

[[Page 71142]]

observations covering broad areas, over long periods with frequent 
revisit rates. Satellite platforms can be costly, and technology 
improvements are implemented on lengthy timeframes. As microsatellite 
technology improves, the cost of collecting sustained and scientific 
observations from space may decrease, not only reducing costs for 
current observations, but potentially enabling additional missions.
    In 2013, the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) 
released a National Strategy for Civil Earth Observations (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/nstc_2013_earthobsstrategy.pdf) outlining a policy framework organized 
by Societal Benefit Areas (SBAs) to enable stable, continuous, and 
coordinated global Earth-observation capabilities for the benefit of 
society. Societal benefits accrue from Earth observations that inform 
scientific research, policy, and decision-making. SBAs are 
interconnected at local, regional, national, and international scales, 
and include scientific research, economic activities, and environmental 
and social domains.
    Many SBAs involve critical government functions, such as the 
continuity of national government and the protection of life and 
property. The NSTC framework enabled the development of a National Plan 
for Civil Earth Observations informed by a government-wide assessment 
of the impact of more than 350 Earth observation systems.
    The National Plan for Civil Earth Observations (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/NSTC/2014_national_plan_for_civil_earth_observations.pdf) published in July 
2014, lists the highest priority measurement groups for observations 
as:
     Weather and seasonal climate monitoring and prediction, 
which characterize phenomena such as precipitation, storms, wind, 
floods, sea state, drought, wildfires, ice, air quality (including 
ozone), and weather risks to human health and transportation.
     Dynamic land-surface monitoring and characterization to 
support food and water security, water availability and quality, fire 
detection and suppression, human health, forestry, soil 
characterization (including soil moisture), hazards mapping and 
response, and natural-resource management.
     Elevation and geo-location to support food and water 
security, hazard and risk mapping, and natural-resource management.
     Water level and flow to support coastal inundation and 
inland flooding, water availability, hydropower management, 
transportation, human health, water equivalent of snow, and tsunami 
hazard preparedness.
    In addition to these highest priority measurement areas, the 
National Plan (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/NSTC/2014_national_plan_for_civil_earth_observations.pdf) specifies 
additional categories of measurement areas that are also important for 
sustained observations for public services. These categories include:
     Ecosystem and biodiversity resource surveys for 
terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems, including fisheries and 
wildlife management;
     Environmental-quality monitoring, specifically disease-
vector surveillance, water quality, and air quality associated with 
changes in atmospheric composition, including particulate matter and 
short-lived climate pollutants;
     Geo-hazard monitoring for Earthquakes, volcanoes, 
landslides, regional and local subsidence (e.g., sinkholes), 
inundation, and tsunamis; and
     Space-weather monitoring of geomagnetic storms, sunspots, 
solar flares, associated x-ray and ultraviolet emissions, solar wind 
(including coronal mass ejection), solar energetic particles, traveling 
ionosphere disturbances, and associated changes of the Earth's 
geomagnetic field and ionosphere for their impact on human activities.
    The National Plan also describes the following measurement 
categories as essential to the Federal government's research 
objectives:
     Atmospheric state, including measurements of temperature, 
pressure, humidity, wind, and ozone at the accuracy required for long-
term climate research, and, as appropriate, to improve short and 
medium-range weather forecasting;
     Cryosphere, including measurements of ice sheets, 
glaciers, permafrost, snow, and sea ice extent and thickness;
     Earth's energy budget, including total solar irradiance 
and Earth's radiation budget, and the reflectance and scattering 
properties of clouds, aerosols, and greenhouse gases, specifically for 
understanding Earth's sensitivity to climate change;
     Extremes, including specific and routine observations for 
the study of extreme temperatures, drought, precipitation, and wind;
     Geo-hazard research, including monitoring land-surface 
deformation to better understand regional and local disaster potential 
and effects, and the monitoring of phenomena that precede natural 
disasters (such as seismic, stress, strain, geochemical, and 
temperature changes);
     Greenhouse gas emissions and concentrations, including 
understanding sources and sinks of greenhouse gases, as well as changes 
in long-lived greenhouse gas and short-lived climate pollutant 
concentrations over time;
     Integrated geophysical and biosphere characterization 
(terrestrial, freshwater, and marine), including long-term dynamics to 
understand ecosystem change and biogeochemical processes (particularly 
the carbon cycle);
     Ocean state, including observations of sea levels, 
temperature, salinity, pH, alkalinity, currents and characteristics of 
marine ecosystems;
     Space weather, including long-term understanding of the 
Earth-Sun relationship, solar dynamics, and the drivers of space-
weather impacts at the Earth's surface (such as coupling between space 
weather and geomagnetic storms); and
     Water cycle, including the analysis of droughts, floods, 
and water availability (precipitation, soil moisture, snow-water 
equivalent, evapotranspiration, groundwater, surface water, and 
runoff).

Societal Benefit Areas

    (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/nstc_2013_earthobsstrategy.pdf)
     Agriculture and Forestry: Supporting sustainable 
agriculture and forestry.
     Biodiversity: Understanding and conserving biodiversity.
     Climate: Understanding, assessing, predicting, mitigating, 
and adapting to climate variability and related global change.
     Disasters: Reducing loss of life, property, and ecosystem 
damage from natural and human-induced disasters.
     Ecosystems (Terrestrial and Freshwater): Improving the 
management and protection of terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems.
     Energy and Mineral Resources: Improving the identification 
and management of energy and mineral resources.
     Human Health: Understanding environmental factors 
affecting human health and well-being.
     Ocean and Coastal Resources and Ecosystems: Understanding 
and protecting ocean, coastal, and Great

[[Page 71143]]

Lakes populations and resources (including fisheries, aquaculture, and 
marine ecosystems).
     Space Weather: Understanding, assessing, predicting, and 
mitigating the effects of space weather on technological systems 
(including satellites, power grids, communications, and navigation).
     Transportation: Improving the safety and efficiency of all 
modes of transportation (including air, highway, railway, and marine).
     Water Resources: Improving water resource management 
through better understanding and monitoring of the water cycle.
     Weather: Improving weather information, forecasting, and 
warning.
     Reference Measurements: Improving reference measurements--
the underpinnings of all the SBAs--and the fundamental measurement 
systems and standards supporting them (such as geodesy, bathymetry, 
topography, and geolocation).
    OSTP invites you to submit public comments (limit 5 pages) on the 
technical feasibility of developing microsatellites that can be 
deployed at equal or lower cost compared to current satellites to meet 
the sustained missions of the civil Earth observation community. For 
the purposes of this study, OSTP considers microsatellites as having a 
mass of less than 100 kg. In your written response, please identify the 
number of each topic as you address it.
    OSTP welcomes public input on the following topics:
    1. Identify the measurement categories highlighted in the National 
Plan for Civil Earth Observations relevant to your mission;
    2. Technical near-term (1-5 years) capabilities of microsatellite 
system(s) related to Earth observations capabilities as defined above;
    3. Reliability, system lifetime, and maintainability;
    4. Launch requirements including planned launch options (rideshare, 
microsatellite launch companies, etc.), if they exist;
    5. Current technical limitations on microsatellites for operational 
Earth observing missions; and
    6. Broad estimates of development, launch and operational costs of 
specific systems.

Ted Wackler,
Deputy Chief of Staff and Assistant Director.
[FR Doc. 2014-28178 Filed 11-28-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3270-F5-P