The goals of the conference were: (1) to inform GOES users on the status of plans for the GOES-R constellation, instruments and operations; (2) to refine potential user applications for data and products from the GOES-R series; (3) to seek ways to help the user communities prepare for GOES-R; (4) to address user and societal benefits of the GOES-R series as an integral part of the Global Observing System; and (5) to continue to improve communication between NOAA and the GOES User communities. The primary focus of the conference was to explore the steps needed to ensure user readiness for the GOES-R Series.
The conference participants strongly supported the concept of NOAA's Satellite and Information Service starting now to ensure user readiness. Steps to user readiness include: 1) coordinating with all the other NOAA line offices, and the NOAA Mission Goal Teams to ensure that budgets are developed to acquire the needed infrastructure, including communications, hardware and software for user interfaces; 2) leading studies to determine the optimal ways to distribute data and products or make them accessible to the user communities; 3) leading the development and validation of GOES-R products and algorithms, including automated decision support algorithms; 4) leading the development of a comprehensive risk reduction plan, including the use of test-beds or proving grounds at National Weather Service Forecast Offices, modeled after the proving ground concept leading to the deployment of NEXRAD; and 5) developing a comprehensive education and training program to ensure that the entire user community knows how to use the new and improved data and products from GOES-R.
This paper will cover the highlights from the Third GOES-R Users' Conference, focusing on user recommendations and themes from the breakout sessions on the final day of the conference. Some of the themes were: managing the increase in data volume, systems integration, expanding user input opportunities, serving varied user needs, visibility of the program, and quality verification methods. The breakout discussion groups were divided along the lines of common interests, including weather applications; climate applications; coastal and ocean applications; safe and efficient transportation and space weather; hydrological applications; and air quality/fires.