3.1 The Contribution of Operational and Research Applications from the Joint Polar Satellite System to Societal Benefits through Proving Ground Initiatives

Monday, 23 January 2017: 2:00 PM
620 (Washington State Convention Center )
Mitchell Goldberg, JPSS, Lanham, MD

Applications of satellite data are paramount to transform science and technology to product and services which are used in critical decision making.   For the satellite community, good representations of technology are the satellite sensors, while science provides the instrument calibration and derived geophysical parameters.    Weather forecasting is an application of the science and technology provided by remote sensing satellites.   The Joint Polar Satellite System, which includes the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) provides formidable science and technology to support many applications and includes support to 1) weather forecasting – data from the JPSS Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) and the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) are used to forecast weather events out to 7 days - nearly 85% of all data used in weather forecasting are from polar orbiting satellites; 2) environmental monitoring -data from the JPSS Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) are used to monitor the environment including the health of coastal ecosystems, drought conditions, fire, smoke, dust, snow and ice, and the state of oceans, including sea surface temperature and ocean color;  and 3) climate monitoring – data from JPSS instruments, including OMPS and CERES will provide continuity to climate data records established using NOAA POES and NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) satellite observations.   To bridge the gap between products and applications, the JPSS Program has established a proving ground program to optimize the use of JPSS data with other data sources to improve key products and services.  In May 2013, two Proving Ground (PG) project teams responded to a request to support severe flooding situations along the Yukon River in Alaska.  One team helped designate the extent of river ice formation and breakup using VIIRS and the other team used VIIRS to define river flooding.  The actions taken by the JPSS PG teams in response to the flooding event resulted in tailored satellite products to support recovery efforts.  Both products provided critical decision-making information to NWS forecasters responsible for issuing flood warnings for the region.  The success of these products led to a formal initiative, the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) River Ice Flooding product, which is a collaborative effort between NOAA’s Alaska-Pacific River Forecast Center (APRFC), North Central River Forecast Center (NCRFC), City College of Ney York (CCNY), George Mason University (GMU), the University of Alaska’s (UA) Geographic Information Network of Alaska (GINA), University of Wisconsin’s – Madison Community Satellite Processing Package (CSPP).  The flood detection product developed by the science team from GMU is used to monitor ice jams and snowmelt, and forecast floods events, while the river Ice product developed by the science team from CCNY provides enhanced river ice maps with detailed information on ice location, extent, and concentration.  These products were well received and the demand for them increased significantly.  VIIRS data for river ice and flood detection is now routinely used by National Weather Service (NWS) River Forecast Centers (RFCs), and will soon follow the path to operations.  Following on this success, in 2014, two additional Initiatives, Fire and Smoke and Atmospheric Soundings were established.  The PGRR later formalized this initiative approach for all of its projects.   New initiatives focus on hydrological, Arctic, data assimilation, atmospheric chemistry, ocean ecosystem applications.   At the conference, the benefits of JPSS data on societal benefits will presented along with results from the PG initiatives.
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