2.5 An Outline in Transferring Satellite Research Products to National Weather Service Operations

Thursday, 27 January 2011: 12:00 PM
602/603 (Washington State Convention Center)
Jordan Gerth, Physical Scientist, National Weather Service Office of Observations, Silver Spring, MD

A successful research to operations program is guided by the requirements of the end user. As such, it is necessary to involve operations thoroughly and frequently in transitioning a research product. Too often, research to operations activities are interrupted and delayed by the research sector usurping the role of the initial evaluator in demonstration exercises.

A strong research to operations activity is founded on early, joint collaborations by both players. Operations must support the need and direct the implementation for a new product, while it is the responsibility of research to meet the need and refine the product based on the feedback from the user. As such, “research to operations” is actually “between research and operations”: a two-way street encouraging dialogue. A balanced, cyclic approach is most desirable and effective.

The Cooperative Institute of Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) has a five-year history in successful research to operations transfer between academia and the National Weather Service (NWS). The activities have largely been associated with connecting the unmet satellite needs of NWS operations with new imagery and products from polar-orbiting satellites to help solve lingering forecast and analysis issues. A benefit of this research to operations exercise is not only to leverage the capabilities of the existing space-based resources in producing new products which add value to the forecast process, but to prepare NWS forecasters for the next generation of geostationary satellites.

Along with executing a product development paradigm which accomplishes research to operations on a conceptual level, an equally important element of the activity is preferential technical implementation. It is necessary to use data formats widely established and integrated in the end user environment. For example, research to operations activities with the NWS are hampered if products are not integrated into the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) because end users cannot afford time in learning a new display tool, or continuously referencing a tool outside of their operational procedures.

This talk focuses on the conceptual and technical aspects of a successful research to operations effort based on experiences transitioning new satellite imagery and products to the field at CIMSS and as part of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite R-Series (GOES-R) Proving Ground, an end-user readiness exercise rooted in a research to operations activity. Emphasized is the “consistency and reliability” necessary for long-term evaluation and an avenue to operationally support products resulting from successful efforts after research is complete.

Supplementary URL: http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/~jordang/overflow.html

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