NOAA Testbeds and Proving Grounds: Progress in transitions between Research and Applications/Operations

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Thursday, 6 February 2014: 8:30 AM
Room C201 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Paula Davidson, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and M. Uhart

NOAA's testbeds and proving grounds are increasingly recognized as important mechanisms for transitioning research advances to application, especially NOAA operations. Recent reports by the National Academy of Public Administration on achieving National Weather Service(NWS) Weather Ready Nation goal, and by the NOAA Science Advisory Board's R&D Porfolio Review both call for increasing use of testbeds and proving ground mechanisms for more effective transitions. NOAA's testbeds and proving grounds follow standard practices as described under the posted guidelines, and provide an opportunity for newly demonstrated R&D to undergo testing and evaluation for potential uses-- including NOAA operations-- that help meet NOAA's mission needs. Eleven NOAA testbeds and proving grounds, listed under www.testbeds.noaa.gov, are recognized to date as consistent with these guidelines; charters and additional information on these facilities, along with summaries of recent workshops, are posted at the web portal. These testbeds and proving grounds rigorously test new capabilities to evaluate performance and potential readiness for use in addressing NOAA mission objectives. Most of them provide testing support through in-kind services (management and IT support), and some are additionally supported by programmatic announcements of opportunity for competitively awarded testing.

Resources permitting, coordinated announcements of opportunity solicit proposed testing activities from NOAA science partners, both internal and external. Newly adopted, standardized tracking and reporting help to publicize the testing results, sharing high-impact results, best practices and lessons learned. Recent annual workshops, organized around integrating science themes of broad interest across NOAA focused on “Intense Precipitation” and “High-Impact Environmental events” featured testing across NOAA that was integrated, innovative, rigorous, and of exceptional value for advancing NOAA's objective. NWS anticipates an expanded role for its new Operations and Services Proving Ground in testing capabilities for improved decision support services, e.g. from the NWS pilots, and from promising results from C-STAR projects. Recent testing highlights from NOAA's testbeds and proving grounds will be presented.