J5.1 Overview of Space-based Component of WMO Integrated Global Observing Systems (WIGOS) – Critical Analysis and Potential Gaps, Vision in 2040 and the Way Forward

Tuesday, 12 January 2016: 11:00 AM
Room 252/254 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Wenjian Zhang, WMO, Geneva, Switzerland

The Sixteenth of World Meteorological Congress (2011, Geneva) decided to implement the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS), with the purpose and the vision for building up an integrated, coordinated and comprehensive observing system (including both surface-based and space-based components) to satisfy, in a cost-effective and sustained manner, the evolving observing requirements of Members in delivering their weather, climate, water and related environmental services. WIGOS will provide a framework for enabling the integration and optimized evolution of WMO observing systems, and of WMO's contribution to co-sponsored systems, resulting in increased knowledge and enhanced services across all WMO Programmes. For facilitating the long-term planning and development of WIGOS, in September 2014, the Extraordinary Session of the Commission for Basic Systems (CBS-Ext(2014)) encouraged the initiative to develop a new Vision of the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS), including component observing systems (i.e. surface-based component and space-based component) in 2040, which would ultimately replace the current “Vision of the Global Observing System in 2025”. The new horizon of the vision was set to 2040 in order to be ahead of currently firm satellite plans, since a vision document should serve as guidance in the early planning stage rather than just reflect existing plans. The Vision shall be ambitious but achievable. The development of a WIGOS Space Vision was approached by three different angles. First of all, the new vision should aim to respond to the anticipated societal needs of 2040, in the context of WIGOS and of the increasing maturity of space applications and the emerging requirements of new application areas which are not fully addressed by current plans (e.g. to Global Framework for Climate Services, air quality, hydrology, and cryosphere monitoring). A starting point is to address the unfulfilled requirements expressed in the Statements of Guidance of WMO application areas in the Rolling Review of Requirements.

Secondly, the vision should consider the opportunities opened or anticipated from advances in satellite and instrument technology, including the advent of a new generation of low earth orbit (LEO) and geostationary meteorological environmental satellites (GEO) launches around the global in the 2015-2030+ timeframe and will provide services till 2040; lessons learnt from demonstration missions that, by 2040, will be mature for transition from R&D or demonstration stage to operational stage (e.g. GPM, GRACE, SMOS, Doppler lidar, etc.), and possible new concepts. Rapid progress in technological capabilities will allow improved performances in terms of spectral, spatial, temporal and radiometric resolution, which also bears on the amount of data to be exchanged.

Finally, attention should be paid to emerging changes in the provider community considering the increased number of space-faring nations, the range of possible approaches between large and very small satellite programmes, and the balance to be found between an increasing capability of the private sector to contribute to the system and the specific responsibilities of governmental entities. Opportunities and risks should be carefully analysed considering the possible technological evolution, as well as the key strategies for optimal integration of space-based and surface-based observation capabilities.

The presentation will communicate the WMO Strategic Plan (Seventeenth World Meteorological Congress, May-June 2015, Geneva), which provides a high-level statement of the future direction and priorities of the WMO. Building on the Global Societal Needs described in the Strategic Plan, the WMO Roadmap for developing WIGOS Space vision 2040 will be presented. The Roadmap captures the vision and anticipation of meteorological /environmental services requirements in the 2040 time horizon. It takes into consideration the great opportunities and benefits of planned new generation of meteorological and environmental satellites and the potential critical gaps for meeting future WMO Members' and Programmes' requirements for enhanced weather and climate services.

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