The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) yesterday signed a long-term implementing arrangement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to guarantee continuous geostationary satellite coverage of the East Asia and the Western Pacific, in case either agency experiences a spacecraft failure.
Under this implementing arrangement signed in Tokyo, JMA and NOAA agree to provide geostationary back-up coverage in an emergency, and monitor typhoons and other severe weather that threaten both nations. If either a JMA or NOAA geostationary spacecraft stops operating, and has no available back-up satellite of its own, then the partner agency would temporarily move one of its satellites toward the appropriate region and provide coverage for up to one year - at no cost, allowing the other agency time to recover from the failure and launch a replacement spacecraft.
Under an existing arrangement signed by JMA and NOAA in 2002, NOAA's GOES-9 satellite has provided JMA with geostationary satellite coverage of the Western Pacific. GOES-9 has backed up JMA's Geostationary Meteorological Satellite (GMS-5), because it experienced imaging problems and fuel shortages.