About Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Affairs

Welcome to NOAA's Web Site on the Licensing of Private Remote Sensing Space Systems. This Web Site is intended to provide U.S. laws, regulations, policies, and related information pertaining to the operation of private and commercial remote sensing satellite systems.

Mission

To regulate the operation of private Earth remote sensing space systems, subject to the jurisdiction or control of the United States, while preserving essential national security interests, foreign policy and international obligations.

Vision

Balance commercial viability of private Earth remote sensing space systems and sound regulatory practices and policies while protecting national security, foreign policy and international obligations.

Organization

NOAA Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Affairs (CRSRA) is located within NOAA Satellite and Information Services (NESDIS). CRSRA consists of a Commercial Remote Sensing Licensing activity as well as a Commercial Remote Sensing Compliance and Monitoring activity. CRSRA also handles committee management for the NOAA Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing (ACCRES).
CRSRA Organizational Chart

Background

The National and Commercial Space Programs Act (NCSPA or Act), 51 U.S.C. § 60101, et seq as amended (the Act), provides no person who is subject to the jurisdiction or control of the U.S. may operate any private remote sensing space system without a license, and authorized the Secretary of Commerce to license private sector parties to operate private remote sensing space systems. By law, the Secretary can grant a license only upon determining, in writing that the applicant (licensee) will comply with the requirements of the Act, any regulations issued pursuant to the Act and any applicable international obligations and national security concerns of the United States.

Information on applying for a license can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 15 CFR Part 960, specifically, Subpart B and Appendix 1.

For Further Information

Please contact the Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Affairs Office at crsra@noaa.gov for further assistance in obtaining a license.