Case Study: Two Realized High Value Opprotunities

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
J. Philip Green, NOAA/NESDIS, Silver Spring, MD

Handout (471.8 kB)

The Antarctica Data Acquisition (ADA) and the Dual MetOp efforts are realized opportunities that are greatly benefiting the users of MetOp satellite environmental data and products. ADA reduced the MetOp satellite data timeliness by one-half (from ~100mins to ~50mins). Dual MetOp extended the MetOp satellite data and services to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) users from one to two MetOp satellites. These successful implementations resulted from a strong cooperative partnership relationship between NOAA and the Exploitation of Metorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) developed though the Initial Joint Polar Satellite (IJPS) program. In January 2013, the ADA effort was recognized by the Department of Commerce and awarded its highest award, the Gold award.

In 1998, NOAA and EUMETSAT entered into a collaborative agreement and established the IJPS program. The agreement commits to the IJPS program the last two NOAA heritage satellites (NOAA-18 and NOAA-19) and two first generation EUMETSAT polar satellites (MetOp-A and MetOp-B). Additionally, the IJPS agreement required NOAA and EUMETSAT to upgrade their ground systems to receive, process, and distribute data from each other's prime operational satellite. In 2005, the signed Joint Transition Activities (JTA) agreement expanded the collaborative arrangements to include a third EUMETSAT satellite (MetOp-C) and NOAA's next generation Polar satellites developed through the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) program.

The ADA and Dual MetOp development occurred within the MetOp-B pre- and post-launch activities schedule. MetOp-B was launched September 17, 2012. To address the challenge, NOAA developed a three-phase program consisting of the two independent, but related, opportunity projects.

Phase-1, Established MetOp ADA operations at the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility (NSOF) in Suitland, Maryland:

ADA represents a realized high value opportunity. It leveraged existing IJPS and JPSS resources. The opportunity involved international cooperation within the context of the IJPS program and intergovernmental cooperation between NOAA and NASA through the JPSS program. NOAA's JPSS Antarctica ground site (at McMurdo) now complements EUMETSAT's Arctic ground site (at Svalbard). In June 2011 ADA operations began. The primary MetOp satellite data is collected and distributed twice per orbit resulting with the data latency reduced by approximately one-half. The improved data timeliness provides more accurate numerical weather prediction models. This ultimately results with the improved global weather forecast accuracy which reduce loss of life and increase economic benefices within the US and worldwide.

Phase-2, MetOp-B / Dual MetOp Pre-launch Test Support:

Phase-2 provided critical pre-launch test data required for Phase-3, Establish MetOp-B / Dual MetOp operational capability. MetOp-B Level-1 product generation development was tested using actual MetOp-B satellite ground test data, modified to emulate space-like conditions. Dual MetOp throughput and processing capability testing was performed using actual operational multi-orbit MetOp-A data and simulated multi-orbit MetOp-B data. The phase concluded with a 30-day continuous test of the new enhanced ground system.

Phase-3, Established MetOp-B / Dual MetOp Operational Capability:

Phase 3 established the NOAA ground system operational capability for MetOp-B, per the IJPS agreement, and expanded the capability to Dual MetOp operations. The NOAA users are receiving all the data, products, and services from both MetOp-A and MetOp-B satellites as part of nominal operations. The effort was spearheaded through NOAA's IJPS development project office. It relied on IJPS international cooperation and efforts from NOAA's development and operations divisions. On April 24, 2013 NOAA's Dual MetOp operations started. Dual MetOp provides resiliency that reduces the risk of NOAA not meeting its Polar satellite requirements. Adding a second satellite reduces the vulnerable to anomalies, outages, or failures of one satellite or one or more of the instrument in a seamless fashion. It also provides additional data which improves the weather predictions and helped reduce loss of life and property damage by providing better severe storm forecasting.