NOAA Observation Requirements Process—Foundation of the NOAA Observing Systems Architecture (Formerly Paper 14.3)

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Thursday, 2 February 2006: 1:30 PM
NOAA Observation Requirements Process—Foundation of the NOAA Observing Systems Architecture (Formerly Paper 14.3)
A412 (Georgia World Congress Center)
Pamela M. Taylor, NOAA/NESDIS, Silver Spring, MD; and T. C. Adang, L. O'Connor, and K. F. Carey

In direct response to a 2002 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Program Review recommendation for a more comprehensive, NOAA-wide observing system architecture, NOAA established the NOAA Observing Systems Architecture (NOSA) to ensure future Earth observing systems most effectively support the NOAA mission and, where appropriate, the needs of the global user community. The intent of NOSA is to optimize the entire mix of observing systems to best meet the total set of prioritized observational requirements of NOAA Programs, which support NOAA Ecosystems, Climate, Weather and Water, and Commerce and Transportation Missions. Therefore, as it evolves and matures, NOSA will more efficiently fulfill observing requirements, provide the best possible cost/benefit value, and avoid unnecessary duplication of existing systems.

This requirements-based approach began a transition for NOAA away from a stove-piped, technology-driven, platform-oriented process and towards an integrated, user needs driven, end-to-end systems oriented architecture. NOAA developed a multi-phased observational requirements process to formally collect, verify, validate, annually update and manage environmental observing requirements, which is foundational to NOSA. NOAA observational requirements are being used as the foundation for observing system investment analyses, which are used to develop recommendations for budget and program planning, to focus NOAA research and technology initiatives on high-priority user requirements, and to aid in the transition of these initiatives into NOAA operations. This observation requirements process, initially focused on NOAA, has the capability to include the common observational needs of other users, such as the Department of Defense and other federal agencies, as well as international partners.