Wednesday, 17 January 2007: 11:45 AM
The challenges of transferring observation research to operations
212B (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
NOAA Research has been challenged to transfer more of its observation systems research to operations. At the same time, research and operational communities face numerous obstacles to transferring promising new science and technology into day-to-day operations. In today's tight fiscal climate, the research community is required to document the value of new observations to the agency's current observation mix, and to its mission or current services. The resources required to enable the transfer and begin the operation and maintenance of another system compete with other pressing requirements to modernize systems and improve the efficiency of current activities. Anecdotal evidence is insufficient given the often large investments the agency must make to fully implement and take advantage of the new data sets. Improved observing system accuracy and resolution alone may not justify their transfer to operations. Often the only successful arguments for new systems are those that promise to reduce the costs of the current mix of observations or at least be cost neutral. The cost of demonstrating the value of new observing systems can be high, and often networks need to be established to prove their value, either through numerical models and operational forecasts or the establishment of new customer bases. This paper will discuss how NOAA is attempting to address these challenges.