A high altitude, long endurance UAS observing strategy using a Global Hawk is making significant progress thanks to partnerships with NOAA's operational stakeholders, other Federal agencies, academia, and private industry. The NOAA UAS Program is also beginning to explore UAS observing strategies using small, low altitude UAS to obtain boundary layer meteorological information that could be useful for convective initiation predictions as well as situational awareness and damage assessment of severe storms and flooding.
During the last seven years, the UAS Program has experienced both steady success and key challenges in advancing UAS observing strategies toward application. The level of success or challenge experienced during transition appears to be related to four key factors: (1) a common understanding of technology readiness, (2) a well-defined transition process with clear key decision points, (3) joint participation by both research and operational stakeholders in the transition planning, and (4) a very basic level of trust between researchers and their operational counterparts. This presentation will discuss how these four factors are related to examples of both steadily successful and challenging transitions experienced during the development of UAS observing strategies by the UAS Program.