89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 13 January 2009: 1:30 PM
GOES-R Proving Ground Program
Room 224AB (Phoenix Convention Center)
James Gurka, NESDIS GOES-R Program Office, Greenbelt, MD; and A. Mostek, T. J. Schmit, S. D. Miller, A. S. Bachmeier, and M. DeMaria
A proving ground is a place where technologies and ideas are tested and proven before they are finalized and incorporated into critical operations. The key mission of the Satellite Proving Ground is to demonstrate new satellite observing data, products and capabilities in operational NOAA Offices. This key activity facilitates the transfer of new capabilities into NOAA operations in an efficient and reliable manner. This program directly addresses the concerns raised by various studies that identified the major challenges posed when trying to move new products into NOAA's operational programs, also known as trying to “Cross the Valley of Death”.

The GOES-R Proving Ground (PG) does more than simply test a piece of software to see if it works. The PG focuses on evaluating how the infusion of the technology or procedure integrates with other available tools in the hands of the operational forecaster or other NOAA scientist responsible for issuing forecasts and warnings across a wide spectrum of environmental products. Additionally, the testing concept fosters interactions between operation and development staff which will provide critical feedback to the developers and lead to improved products, training materials and support documentation.

The proving ground concept allows forecasters and scientists to be involved at the conceptual level and is the ultimate tool to ensure user readiness. The foundation for the GOES-R Proving ground is the funding of extra personnel, including satellite applications experts, computer and technical support, at NOAA cooperative institutes to work directly with NWS forecast offices, National Centers, NOAA Test Bed programs, and other NOAA operational offices.

In 2008, the GOES-R Proving Ground was established with funding from the GOES-R Program Office and support from NWS Training Division and the Cooperative Institute of Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) in Madison Wisconsin, and the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) in Fort Collins, Colorado. In 2009, the Proving Ground will expand to include at least one additional Cooperative Institute, NASA's SPoRT program in Huntsville, AL and NOAA's Hazardous Weather Test Bed in Norman, OK. For local office level interactions, CIMSS and CIRA are building close relationships with the NWS Forecast Offices at Milwaukee/ Sullivan WI, LaCrosse WI, Cheyenne WY, and Boulder CO. The distributed level of interaction will include interaction with NCEP centers, regional headquarters, and other selected NWS Forecast Offices.

In the GOES-R Proving Ground, developers and forecasters will test and apply algorithms for new GOES-R satellite data and products, using proxy and simulated data sets, including observations from new instruments (MODIS, AIRS, IASI, SEVIRI, NAST-I, NPP/VIIRS/CrIS), and computer simulated products. The PG will test and validate data processing and distribution systems and the applications of these products in operational settings. Additionally developers and forecasters will test and apply display techniques and decision aid tools in an operational setting. To better familiarize forecasters with the data from GOES-R, a weather event simulator will be developed in coordination with NWS Training Division. A key component of the proving ground is a two-way interaction where researchers introduce new products to forecasters and forecasters providing feedback and ideas for improved or new products.

The NOAA GOES-R Proving Ground is a critical component in NOAA's effort to bridge the gap between research and operations by establishing close ties between its operational offices and its applied research laboratories and cooperative institutes!

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