87th AMS Annual Meeting

Wednesday, 17 January 2007: 9:20 AM
The Transition of NASA EOS Datasets to WFO Operations: A Model for Future Technology Transfer
217D (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Christopher B. Darden, NOAA/NWS, Huntsville, AL; and J. E. Burks, G. J. Jedlovec, and S. L. Haines
The collocation of a National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast Office with atmospheric scientists from NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama has afforded a unique opportunity for science sharing and technology transfer. Specifically, the NWS office in Huntsville has interacted closely with research scientists within the SPoRT (Short-term Prediction and Research and Transition) Center at MSFC. One significant technology transfer that has reaped dividends is the transition of unique NASA EOS polar orbiting datasets into NWS field operations. NWS forecasters primarily rely on the AWIPS (Advanced Weather Information and Processing System) decision support system for their day to day forecast and warning decision making. Unfortunately, the transition of data from operational polar orbiters or low inclination orbiting satellites into AWIPS has been relatively slow due to a variety of reasons.

The ability to integrate these high resolution NASA datasets into operations has yielded several benefits. The MODIS (MODerate-resolution Imaging Spectrometer ) instrument flying on the Aqua and Terra satellites provides a broad spectrum of multispectral observations at resolutions as fine as 250m. Forecasters routinely utilize these datasets to locate fine lines, boundaries, smoke plumes, locations of fog or haze fields, and other mesoscale features. In addition, these important datasets have been transitioned to other WFOs for a variety of local uses. For instance, WFO Great Falls Montana utilizes the MODIS snow cover product for hydrologic planning purposes while several coastal offices utilize the output from the MODIS and AMSR-E instruments to supplement observations in the data sparse regions of the Gulf of Mexico and western Atlantic.

In the short term, these datasets have benefited local WFOs in a variety of ways. In the longer term, the process by which these unique datasets were successfully transitioned to operations will benefit the planning and implementation of products and datasets derived from both NPP and NPOESS. This presentation will provide a brief overview of current WFO usage of satellite data, the transition of datasets between SPoRT and the NWS, and lessons learned for future transition efforts.

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