Monday, 12 January 2009: 11:30 AM
NOAA's Integrated Observations and Data Management and Strategic Portfolio Tools
Room 224AB (Phoenix Convention Center)
Unique to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration mission are the environmental data from satellites, ships, aircraft, buoys, and other remote and in-situ observing systems. These systems, along with high performance computing and modeling capabilities, provide the ability to directly impact and satisfy customer demands. The condition, readiness, and vulnerabilities of this infrastructure have direct consequences on human welfare, economic well being, and the advancement of the understanding of our environment and its management. NOAA's information technology and capabilities include integrated management and functional alignment of its high performance computing enterprise along with efforts to develop Agency-wide software infrastructure and community-wide modeling infrastructure capabilities. NOAA's global mission of monitoring the marine environment requires an extensive trans-oceanic presence. Supporting this mission requires expanded access to ship and aviation platforms to service buoys, map the coasts, and monitor fisheries. Over the last five years, NOAA's Office of Systems Development (OSD) has been developing tools to support the analysis and acquisition of architectures for integrated observations and data management. One of those tools is the “CasaNOSA Analysis Tool” (CAS-RT), an open source software tool that retrieves and matches observing requirements and capabilities, and uses a variety of algorithms to measure the degree of fit or performance between systems and requirements at the attribute level. This tool pulls data from the database of NOAA observing and data management requirements and capabilities OSD has compiled. NOAA's operational and science-oriented programs have more than 1000 mission-critical observing requirements and they operate and fund over 90 different land, sea, and space-based observing systems in addition to obtaining data from a wide range of public and private sector sources. NOAA's observing requirements and capabilities are further defined in terms of key attributes, such as geographic coverage, horizontal or vertical resolution, measurement accuracy, and re-visit frequency. The NOAA database of requirements and capabilities resides in an open source-web based-repository system and is managed through a suite of collaborative tools. Results from these CAS gap analyses are used for investment portfolio analysis, decision support, statistical analysis, and enterprise architecture modeling. As the demand for NOAA products and services increases, the demands for infrastructure increases as well, the continuity and improvement of key observations and data management architectures will enable the Agency to continue fulfilling its responsibilities with the Nation. Closing the observing system gaps for the most mission essential needs includes the evaluation of all options for data collection as well as an integrated approach in order for NOAA to implement affordable solutions. Investing effectively in key infrastructure enables NOAA to conduct and fulfill its mission by improving weather warnings and forecasts, enhancing climate monitoring and research, advancing the understanding and management of oceans, coasts and their watersheds, and charting safer, expedient transportation. NOAA's satellites, fleet, aircraft, and other observing systems all face similar problems: expanding mission requirements and finite resources for infrastructure. NOAA currently relies on federal, private sector, university, and international partnerships to help meet requirements for environmental monitoring and data collection in these areas. Even with these valuable partnerships, critical needs in atmospheric, oceanic, climate, solar, and ecosystem observations have gone unfulfilled for many years. An integrated, holistic approach, with the goal of developing observing system architecture, is required to prioritize and appropriately address these limitations while ensuring system continuity for existing products and services. Integration of the vast data and rapidly growing data portfolio poses significant challenges to NOAA's ability to meet its mission. The process of integrating disparate data into an interoperable, multi-discipline knowledge database can be achieved through the development of analysis and intelligent tools.