89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 13 January 2009: 1:45 PM
Contributions from CIRA to the GOES-R Satellite Proving Ground
Room 224AB (Phoenix Convention Center)
Steven D. Miller, CIRA/Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO; and M. DeMaria, D. Molenar, D. W. Hillger, E. J. Szoke, R. Brummer, A. P. Kuciauskas, F. J. Turk, and H. Gosden
Over the past ~50 years the still relatively young field of Satellite Remote Sensing has certainly come a long way. The number and diversity of spaceborne observing systems currently in orbit provide collectively an unprecedented capability to observe and characterize various components of the earth/atmosphere system. Whereas significant and important strides have been made to date in assimilating satellite data into numerical weather prediction models, which manifest as improved forecast skill, it is a somewhat troubling irony that these same satellite resources have not been utilized to their full capability by operational users for characterizing the current environmental conditions. Value-added satellite imagery can take on the form of (1) physically-based enhancements of imagery through multi-spectral or blended sensor techniques, or (2) the display of quantitative environmental data records derived from the sensor or blend of sensors. These depictions provide valuable insight on the evolving weather situation that may not be fully represented (or in some cases, even captured to first order) within a model analysis. Available at the native spatial and temporal resolution provided by the satellite observing systems, these derived products very often contain information that would be useful for predicting local and regional weather in the short term—particularly when coupled with a seasoned forecaster's intimate and first-hand knowledge of the mesoscale and microscale meteorology tendencies of the area.

The principle requirements for establishing a functional connection between developers of such value-added satellite data and operational user community are: i) the packaging of developer applications within the operator's interactive software package (i.e., common data formatting, data ingest, color table handling, etc.), ii) a protocol for communication between developers and users that enables interactive training and also feedback from operations to research for application refinement (sometimes referred to as ‘O2R'), and iii) a formal process for transitioning selected satellite applications (those having demonstrated value) to operational production as part of the standard suite of products. The GOES-R ‘Satellite Proving Ground' project aims to address these requirements with specific regard to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Offices (WFO). Here, the Proving Ground provides a formalized protocol and mechanism for interaction with WFO forecasters operating within their native software paradigm: the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS). Linking the Proving Ground effort with other ongoing and planned satellite algorithm activities within NOAA provides a natural transition path to operations.

As the Proving Ground concept of operations matures and the list of formal and collaborative participants continues to grow, a consolidated and unified interface to the operational community is beginning to take shape. This paper summarizes the specific work in progress on the Proving Ground at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA). In cooperation with the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), we are developing the necessary porting tools and automated procedures, establishing points of contact within the operational user community, and demonstrating multiple satellite applications previewing the capabilities of future operational satellite observing systems such as the GOES-R Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI). As part of this cooperation, we leverage the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) NexSat project (http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/NEXSAT.html) to demonstrate applications based on the blending of GOES-R ABI and the NPOESS Visible/Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) observations. These applications can be demonstrated now by combining various heritage and risk-reduction satellite observing systems.

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