2.1 Planning for NOAA's Operational Satellites for 2030 and Beyond-Priority Objectives from the Space Platform Requirements Working Group (SPRWG) (Invited Presentation)

Monday, 8 January 2018: 10:30 AM
Ballroom G (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Richard A. Anthes, UCAR, Boulder, CO

Handout (6.1 MB)

The National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service (NESDIS) is conducting the NOAA Satellite Observing System Architecture (NSOSA) study in order to determine the most cost effective space architectures for NOAA’s weather, space weather, and environmental remote sensing missions for 2030 and beyond. As a part of this study, the Space Platform Requirements Working Group (SPRWG) was created to determine the future needs and relative priorities for NOAA’s operational space-based observations. The SPRWG is purely advisory in nature; the responsibility for selecting and implementing the final architecture rests with NOAA senior leadership. The overall NSOSA and SPRWG processes are described in the Session Architecture Studies for Preparing for the next Generation of Satellites in the 14thAnnual Symposium on New Generation Operational Environmental Satellite Systems Conference (part of the 2018 AMS Joint Satellite Conference).

As described in the above conference, a key element of the NSOSA study process is the Environmental Data Record (EDR) Value Model (EVM), which provides the most important objectives of NOAA’s observations from space, the objectives' performance attributes at different levels of capability, and their priorities for improving the performance of the objectives from the Study Threshold Level (ST - a level below which the objective has little or no value) to the Maximum Effective Level (ME - the level above which further improvements are not useful or not cost effective). The EVM plays a central role in assessing the value of different space architecture alternatives. The most important part of the SPRWG charge is to assist NSOSA with the development of the EVM.

The final EVM included two groups containing functional objectives. Group A consisted of 19 objectives to deliver specific data records of importance to users in the NOAA service areas of weather, oceans, and fisheries. The objectives in Group A are mostly aligned with particular sensor types. They are particularly focused on sensor data types that support medium- and short-range weather forecasting and nowcasting, but also include data types relevant to operational ocean, fisheries, and long-term forecasting needs. The second group (Group B) also consisted, coincidently, of 19 objectives that support space weather.

The performance measures and ranges associated with each objective were determined through discussions among SPRWG members and users of NOAA satellite observations. Each performance measure had a range from ST to the ME. All priority weights were defined in terms of ST to ME improvements or “swings,” in accordance with Multi-Attribute Utility Theory (MAUT) practice. The concept of basing priorities on improvements of capability over the ST level rather than absolute priority of the objective was new to SPRWG members. In developing the objectives, performance attributes, and rank order, SPRWG used many documents from the WMO, the NOAA Consolidated Observational User Requirements List (COURL), other observational impact studies that have appeared in the scientific peer-reviewed literature, and results from Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs) and Observing System Experiments (OSEs) to inform its judgment. The final result was derived from a synthesis of many sources of information.

This talk summarizes the Group A results of the SPRWG process. I summarize all 19 of the Group A objectives. The highest-ranked objectives for improvements over the ST level of capability include global measurements of tropospheric winds, real-time regional weather imagery, global GNSS soundings, real-time global weather imagery, global infrared and microwave soundings, and global ocean-surface vector winds.

This presentation represents the personal views from the Chairman of SPRWG and is not an official NOAA presentation, nor does it necessarily reflect NOAA’s positions.

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