LAND REMOTE SENSING POLICY ACT OF 1992
PUBLIC LAW 102-555-OCT. 28, 1992 106 STAT.
Public Law 102-555
To enable the United States to maintain its leadership in land remote sensing
by providing data continuity for the Landsat program, to establish a new
national land remote sensing policy, 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 "Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of 1992".
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
The Congress finds and declares the following:
||continuous collection and utilization of land remote
sensing data from space are of major benefit in studying and understanding
human impacts on the global environment, in managing the Earth's natural
resources, in carrying out national security functions, and in planning
and conducting many other activities of scientific, economic, and
||The Federal Government's Landsat system established
the United States as the world leader in land remote sensing technology.
||The national interest of the United States lies in maintaining
international leadership in satellite land remote sensing and in broadly
promoting the beneficial use of remote sensing data.
||The cost of Landsat data has impeded the use of such
data for scientific purposes, such as for global environmental change
research, as well as for other public sector applications.
||Given the importance of the Landsat program to the United
States, urgent actions, including expedited procurement procedures,
are required to ensure data continuity.
|| Full commercialization of the Landsat program cannot
be achieved within the foreseeable future, and thus should not serve
as the near-term goal of national policy on land remote sensing; however,
commercialization of land remote sensing should remain a long-term
goal of United States policy.
||Despite the success and importance of the Landsat system,
funding and organizational uncertainties over the past several years
have placed its future in doubt and have jeopardized United States
leadership in land remote sensing.
||Recognizing the importance of the Landsat program in
helping to meet national and commercial objectives, the President
approved, on February 11, 1992, a National Space Policy Directive
which was developed by the National Space Council and commits the
United States to ensuring the continuity of Landsat coverage into
the 21st century.
||Because Landsat data are particularly important for
national security purposes and global environmental change research,
management responsibilities for the program should be transferred
from the Department of Commerce to an integrated program management
involving the Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and
||Regardless of management responsibilities for the Landsat
program, the Nation's broad civilian, national security commercial,
and foreign policy interests in remote sensing will best be served
by ensuring that Landsat remains an unclassified program that operates
according to the principles of open skies and nondiscriminatory access.
||Technological advances aimed at reducing the size and
weight of satellite systems hold the potential for dramatic reductions
in the cost, and substantial improvements in the capabilities, of
future land remote sensing systems, but such technological advances
have not been demonstrated for land remote sensing and therefore cannot
be relied upon as the sole means of achieving data continuity for
the Landsat program.
||A technology demonstration program involving advanced
remote sensing technologies could serve a vital role in determining
the design of a follow-on spacecraft to Landsat 7, while also helping
to determine whether such a spacecraft should be funded by the United
States Government, by the private sector, or by an international consortium.
|| To maximize the value of the Landsat program to the
American public, unenhanced Landsat 4 through 6 data should be made
available, at a minimum, to United States Government agencies, to
global environmental change researchers, and to other researchers
who are financially supported by the United States Government, at
the cost of fulfilling user requests, and unenhanced Landsat 7 data
should be made available to all users at the cost of fulfilling user
||To stimulate development of the commercial market for
unenhanced data and value-added services, the United States Government
should adopt a data policy for Landsat 7 which allows competition
within the private sector for distribution of unenhanced data and
|| Development of the remote sensing market and the provision
of commercial value-added services based on remote sensing data should
remain exclusively the function of the private sector.
|| It is in the best interest of the United States to
maintain a permanent, comprehensive Government archive of global Landsat
and other land remote sensing data for long-term monitoring and study
of the changing global environment.
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act, the following definitions apply:
||The term "Administrator" means the Administrator
of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
||The term "cost of fulfilling user requests"
means the incremental costs associated with providing product generation,
reproduction, and distribution of unenhanced data in response to user
requests and shall not include any acquisition, amortization, or depreciation
of capital assets originally paid for by the United States Government
or other costs not specifically attributable to fulfilling user requests.
||The term "data continuity" means the continued
acquisition and availability of unenhanced data which are, from the
point of view of the user-
||sufficiently consistent (in terms of acquisition
geometry, coverage characteristics, and spectral characteristics)
with previous Landsat data to allow comparisons for global and
regional change detection and characterization; and
||compatible with such data and with methods used
to receive and process such data.
||The term "data preprocessing" may include-
||rectification of system and sensor distortions
in land remote sensing data as it is received directly from
the satellite in preparation for delivery to a user;
||registration of such data with respect to features
of the Earth; and
||calibration of spectral response with respect
to such data, but does not include conclusions, manipulations,
or calculations derived from such data, or a combination of
such data with other data.
||The term "land remote sensing" means the collection
of data which can be processed into imagery of surface features of
the Earth from an unclassified satellite or satellites, other than
an operational United States Government weather satellite
||The term "Landsat Program Management" means
the integrated program management structure-
||established by, and responsible to, the Administrator
and the Secretary of Defense pursuant to section 101(a); and
||consisting of appropriate officers and employees
of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department
of Defense, and any other United States Government agencies
the President designates as responsible for the Landsat program.
||The term "Landsat system" means Landsats 1,
2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, and any follow-on land remote sensing system operated
and owned by the United States Government, along with any related
ground equipment, systems, and facilities owned by the United States
||The term "Landsat 6 contractor" means the
private sector entity which was awarded the contract for spacecraft
construction, operations, and data marketing rights for the Landsat
||The term "Landsat 7" means the follow-on satellite
to Landsat 6.
||The term "National Satellite Land Remote Sensing
Data Archive" means the archive established by the Secretary
of the Interior pursuant to the archival responsibilities defined
in section 502.
||The term "noncommercial purposes" refers to
those activities undertaken by individuals or entities on the condition,
upon receipt of unenhanced data, that-
||such data shall not be used in connection with
any bid for a commercial contract, development of a commercial
product, or any other non-United States Government activity
that is expected, or has the potential, to be profitmaking;
||the results of such activities are disclosed in
a timely and complete fashion in the open technical literature
or other method of public release, except when such disclosure
by the United States Government or its contractors would adversely
affect the national security or foreign policy of the United
States or violate a provision of law or regulation; and
||such data shall not be distributed in competition
with unenhanced data provided by the Landsat 6 contractor.
||The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of
||The term "unenhanced data' means land remote sensing
signals or imagery products that are unprocessed or subject only to
||The term "United States Government and its affiliated
||United States Government agencies;
||researchers involved with the United States Global
Change Research Program and its international counterpart programs;
||other researchers and international entities that
have signed with the United States Government a cooperative
agreement involving the use of Landsat data for non-commercial
SEC. 4. REPEAL OF LAND REMOTE-SENSING COMMERCIALIZATION ACT OF 1984.
The Land Remote-Sensing Commercialization Act of 1984 (15 U.S.C. 4201 et
seq.) is repealed.