(a) Computing resources (1) In general
In acquiring computing capabilities, including high performance computing technologies and supercomputing technologies, that enable the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to meet its mission requirements, the Under Secretary shall, when appropriate and cost-effective, assess and prioritize options for entering into multi-year lease agreements for computing capabilities over options for purchasing computing hardware outright.
In carrying out the requirements of paragraph (1), the Under Secretary shall structure multi-year lease agreements in such a manner that the expiration of the lease is set for a date on or around—
(A) the expected degradation point of the computing resources; or
(B) the point at which significantly increased computing capabilities are expected to be available for lease.
(3) Pilot programs (A) In general
In order to more efficiently and effectively meet the mission requirements of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Under Secretary may create 1 or more pilot programs for assessing new or innovative information and technology capabilities and services.
(B) Program requirements
Any program created under paragraph (3) shall assess only those capabilities and services that—
(i) meet or exceed the standards and requirements of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, including for processing speed, cybersecurity, and overall reliability; or
(ii) meet or exceed, or are expected to meet or exceed, the performance of similar, in-house information and technology capabilities and services that are owned and operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration prior to the establishment of the pilot program.
(C) Authorization of appropriations
There is authorized to be appropriated, out of funds appropriated to the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, to carry out this paragraph $5,000,000 for fiscal year 2019, $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2020, and $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2021 through 2023, to remain available until expended.
Not later than 1 year after January 7, 2019, and triennially thereafter until the date that is 6 years after the date on which the first report is submitted, the Under Secretary, acting through the Chief Information Officer of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and in coordination with the Assistant Administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and the Director of the National Weather Service, shall produce and make publicly available a report that explains how the Under Secretary intends—
(1) to continually support upgrades to pursue the fastest, most powerful, and cost-effective high performance computing technologies in support of its weather prediction mission;
(2) to ensure a balance between the research to operations requirements to develop the next generation of regional and global models as well as highly reliable operational models;
(3) to take advantage of advanced development concepts to, as appropriate, make next generation weather prediction models available in beta-test mode to operational forecasters, the United States weather industry, and partners in academic and Government research;
(4) to use existing computing resources to improve advanced research and operational weather prediction;
(5) to utilize non-Federal contracts to obtain the necessary expertise for advanced weather computing, if appropriate;
(6) to utilize cloud computing; and
(7) to create a long-term strategy to transition the programming language of weather model code to current and broadly-used coding language.
AMENDMENTS 2019—Pub. L. 115–423 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to annual report on computing resources prioritization.
15 U.S.C. § 8518 (2018)