8B.4 SOO Satellite Training Advisory Teams (STAT)

Wednesday, 15 January 2020: 9:15 AM
251 (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
B. Ward, NWS, Honolulu, HI; and F. Alsheimer and N. Eckstein

In 2013, NOAA was beginning a several year cycle that would vastly upgrade its remote sensing capability. Significant leaps forward would be made in both Geostationary and Low Earth Orbiting sensors to monitor the atmosphere, the oceans, and space. While the scientific community was eagerly awaiting the new capabilities, these same capabilities presented an enormous training challenge for the National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters and hydrologists, some of the prime users of the new data. Therefore, in 2013, a group of subject matter experts, training experts, and NWS Science and Operations Officers (SOO) and Developmental Operational Hydrologists (DOH) started meeting on a regular basis to determine a way forward. This Satellite User Readiness Training (SURT) Team created a final report in 2015, giving recommendations on a path forward for this training. These recommendations included suggestions on training methods, topics to be covered, the need for both baseline and applications training, and so on.

Once the report was finalized, new teams were formed to concentrate on the training needs for both Geostationary (GOES 16/17) and Polar Orbiting (JPSS) instruments. These were identified as Satellite Training Advisory Teams (STAT), with one for geostationary and one for polar orbiting. These teams were the engine behind developing the foundational courses for both systems, and the training was delivered to NWS forecasters. The training included both remote modules and hands on exercises using the NWSs Weather Event Simulator (WES).

Given the large amount of new material to be trained, a residence course was also developed for NWS SOOs/DOHs, as they are the local training experts in forecast offices. This was called the GOES-R Prep Course, and was held during the winter and spring on 2016-2017, coinciding with the recent launch and calibration/validation period of GOES R (now GOES-East/GOES-16).

Once the foundational courses had been delivered, the need then changed to having shorter pieces of training material that dealt specifically with the application of all the new data in day-to-day operations. These materials were developed in 3 forms; Quick Guides, Quick Briefs, and Job Aids. Quick Guides are 2 pages long and show potential examples of operational uses of the new channel image or product. Quick Briefs are 5 minutes or less, and are guided application examples in a recorded module. Job Aids are exercises that forecasters or SOOs could use to guide an applications exercise using real-time data.

To keep all of these resources available and organized for forecasters/hydrologists, the Satellite Training and Operations Resource (STOR) site was developed. This site could be accessed either on the web or in the forecasters AWIPS workstations. The site is updated regularly as new training and reference materials are made available.

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