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Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR)

STAR translates raw satellite data into critical information needed to inform the public and safeguard the environment across the country and around the world.

Satellite data in its raw form can’t be used right away. Once the Office of Satellite Ground Services (OSGS) receives the raw data, it needs to be processed (or transformed) into a form that is understandable. Additionally, the huge volume of satellite data that is collected every day is difficult to search through as well as focus into helpful information that decision makers can act on.

That's where the Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR) comes in. 

Our scientists take the satellite data and use the latest scientific understanding and techniques to decode and interpret it. We then work closely with people and organizations to provide just what they need to make key decisions for themselves, their communities, and our society.

More specifically, STAR is the science arm of NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS). STAR’s research activities are integral to understanding and extracting the best and most useful information from our satellites, information that supports the implementation of all of NOAA's research priorities. They are aligned with and carried out in direct support of NOAA and NESDIS programs, strategic goals, and performance objectives.


Our Leadership

Mark Paese

Acting Director

Mark Paese serves as the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Satellite and Information Services at NESDIS HQ and the Acting Director of the Office of Space Commerce. In this capacity, he provides day-to-day oversight of the activities of NESDIS' satellite operations, data processing, product and service delivery, and research functions. He also has oversight responsibilities of the NESDIS budget planning and administration.

Mark previously served as the Director of the Office of Operational Systems for NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations and management of NWS systems, providing systems engineering, software management, facilities, communications, configuration management and logistical services. He was also responsible for policy development, implementation, operations, support and evaluation of operational weather systems. Mark has 30 years of experience in all facets of weather, communications and aviation, including 12 years in private industry. He has broad experience in leading science-based service organizations, introducing change, and using and implementing technology and science.

Previously, Mark held senior positions at Booz, Allen & Hamilton, and prior to that with Westinghouse Electric Corporation. While in the private sector, he was responsible for systems engineering, operations and maintenance, acquisition, program management, strategic planning and business development.

Mark has also served as the Executive Director of the White House Task Force on Effective Warnings. His efforts resulted in the President signing the Executive Order 13407: Public Alert and Warning Systems. Mark also served on the FCC's Commercial Mobile Service Alert Advisory Committee - charged with examining existing and planned disaster warning systems - resulting in today's Wireless Emergency Alert capability.



Satellite Oceanography & Climatology Division (SOCD)

The Satellite Oceanography and Climatology Division (SOCD) is responsible for research and development of remote sensing data, derived products and applications for ocean, coastal and inland waters.  This includes calibration/validation and data merging/fusing of multi-sensor data, and distribution of data products and information via its CoastWatch / OceanWatch / PolarWatch and Coral Reef Watch programs to diverse users and stakeholders.

Satellite Meteorology & Climatology Division (SMCD)

SMCD conducts research and develops new satellite products to improve and expand the use of satellite data for monitoring global meteorological, environmental, and climatological conditions

Cooperative Research Programs (CoRP) Division

The CoRP Division manages a coast-to-coast research coalition of the federal government and universities. CoRP's branches and cooperative institutes work collaboratively on a range of topics related to monitoring and predicting the environment.



Formal agreements:

  • ESA
  • JAXA
  • JMA
  • KMA
  • ISRO
  • Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) - University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI
  • Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) - Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
  • Cooperative Institute for Satellite Earth System Studies (CISESS) - University of Maryland, College Park, MD and North Carolina State University, Asheville, NC
  • Cooperative Institute or the North Atlantic Region (CINAR) - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA
  • Ian: We can include the CW nodes here if you want: AOML, GLERL, NCCOS, SWFSC, PIFSC 
  • CoastWatch/OceanWatch Nodes:
    • Gulf of Mexico & Atlantic Nodes - OAR / Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratories (AOML)
    • Great Lakes Node - OAR / Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL)
    • West Coast Node & PolarWatch - NMFS / Southwest Fisheries Science Center
    • East Coast Node - NOS / National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS)
    • Central Pacific Node - NMFS / Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC)
  • NESDIS OCIO, NOAA General Counsel, NOAA AGO
  • NCCOS and CSDL of NOAA’s Ocean Service 
  • OPC of NOAA’s Weather Service
  • NASA
  • USGS
  • USDA
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • Australian Institute of Marine Science
  • University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia)
  • NOS Coral Reef Conservation Program
  • NWS / National Ice Center (NIC)


How to Visit

Tours of the NCWCP can be arranged upon request. Please contact Bob Kuligowski (, 301-683-3593) to make arrangements.



STAR is located at the NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction (NCWCP)Please visit the STAR website for more information.