Research to operations (R2O) activities involving the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and particularly the National Weather Service (NWS), have been an increasingly popular concept in recent years. As a way to mitigate risk and ready end users, proving grounds have been established to interface science and techniques development agencies with operational entities of government. One such particularly successful and continually growing proving ground readies forecasters for the increased spatial, temporal, and spectral resolution of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite R-Series (GOES-R), set for launch in late 2015.
Satellite meteorology is an activity which is greatly advanced when new algorithms and tools are shared with operational meteorologists for feedback. When involving the NWS, this requires these products and applications to be available and usable within AWIPS. The Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) has a five-year history providing new, experimental imagery and products from polar-orbiting and geostationary satellites in a real-time, pseudo-operational fashion to AWIPS, reaching 70 NWS forecast offices across the country, and influencing over 440 documented forecast decisions since 2006.
To assure continuity of this effort, CIMSS is taking steps to implement these imagery and products within the AWIPS II framework. Furthermore, CIMSS continues to investigate the new visualization capabilities of the software as a way to support data fusion paradigms and deliver relevant information to the forecaster. The intent is to build AWIPS II plug-ins which extend the value of the imagery. Some of the ongoing work is focused on adding higher resolution satellite data sets which leverage image layering and data combination features toward the production of red-green-blue-alpha (RGBA) and stitched composites.
As the data sets grow in number and size, R2O tasks will face an uncertain future due to bandwidth limitations and an increasing burden on shift forecasters. In addition, a timely path for operations for some products born in the proving ground environment has not been identified. As we move toward the GOES-R launch, delivery mechanisms will need to be readdressed in light of a dependency on a vast number of R2O products. Beyond covering how AWIPS II aids in R2O efforts with the NWS today, some broader ideas are presented on how the software can sustain the GOES-R proving ground and similar activities with the correct distribution strategy.
Supplementary URL: http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/~jordang/