The ingredients for sustaining success in NOAA R2O for GOES-R

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Thursday, 10 January 2013: 2:30 PM
The ingredients for sustaining success in NOAA R2O for GOES-R
Ballroom G (Austin Convention Center)
Jordan J. Gerth, CIMSS/Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

In order to achieve its mission as both a science and service agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) must successfully achieve a sustainable and time-effective path for research to transition to operations, particularly from the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) and the NOAA Cooperative Institutes (CIs) to the National Weather Service (NWS). However, this process is continually mired in the byproduct of bureaucracy and complexity which neither serves the agency nor its science partners, the NOAA CIs.

Proving grounds have been a popular mode of organization to facilitate research-to-operations activities between NOAA's agencies and their partners, namely the CIs. As a catalyst which connects scientists and interagency users, namely the NWS, the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite R-Series (GOES-R) Proving Ground serves as a mechanism to evaluate simulated GOES-R imagery and products in operations prior to the launch of the spacecraft. This exercise is now expanding to include an initial demonstration for highlighting the operational significance of imagery and products from Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP).

The proving ground concept as applied to our nation's satellite programs has been successful. As the satellite proving grounds grow, operations-ready products are identifiable, but lack a permanent entrance strategy into operations. The Satellite Products and Services Review Board (SPSRB) process is one which has not been efficiently integrated as a proving ground exit point for successfully demonstrated products. Integrating the SPSRB process into the proving ground could consolidate steps of the process and streamline the functions of the Board, ultimately decreasing the time required for the research-to-operations process to complete. As new satellite systems begin to replace our existing constellation over the upcoming decade, effectively using resources will be paramount. In fact, an increased burden may result from maintaining current capabilities while implementing new algorithms and science for GOES-R and NPP.

Beyond recommending possible improvements to the proving ground and SPSRB process, this presentation examines four factors which have potential to produce overarching success and keep NOAA on the cutting-edge of research and development transitions. These factors are: personnel on the interagency interface who are conversant in requirements to facilitate across interagency gaps; sufficient and certain budget allocations, particularly for operational continuity; necessary information technology (IT) resources and infrastructure, including computing capabilities and telecommunication bandwidth; and emphasized mission-priority principles, where security and non-mission regulations are not restrictions.

Experiences in research to operations from the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) are shared. Several non-standard examples of successful research to operations will be discussed, evinced by positive results from recent NOAA testbeds with GOES-R Proving Ground involvement, and new direct broadcast reception in Hawaii, which has increased the availability and timeliness of polar-orbiting satellite imagery and products for the central Pacific Ocean.