Saturday, March 25, 2017

Key Questions

Objective 1

Quantitative methodologies, including objective simulation-based approaches, for assessing impacts of current and candidate observing systems to NOAA missions and products

NOAA has the responsibility to optimize the effectiveness of its observing systems, from buoys to satellites. This requires evaluating candidate observing systems and deployment strategies in support of weather, physical oceanography, biological and ecological observing requirements. Coherent decision-support tools for sensor/system design, modeling and data assimilation choices, impact priority, and investment considerations are needed.

R&D Targets:

  • Establish an initial corporate capability to perform rigorous quantitative, simulation-based analysis to optimize NOAA’s global observing system, extensible to the breadth of NOAA’s mission objectives (atmosphere, ocean, land, cryosphere, regional and global forecast)

  • Conduct data evaluations (e.g., observing system experiments (OSE), observing system simulation experiments (OSSE)) for the significant components of NOAA’s observing system

  • Develop an observation system prioritization tool based on quantitative impact assessments employed to optimize model predictions and projections of the Earth system

  • Develop an end-to-end satellite sensor simulator to fully understand the impact on NOAA applications from each individual satellite data source at various time and spatial scales

Objective 2

Maximize the amount of information from NOAA observing systems, partnerships, and leveraged non-NOAA observing capabilities

Maximizing the information from NOAA’s observing systems is constrained by resources; therefore, reducing life cycle costs of observations through the integration of systems, reducing unnecessary/duplicate capabilities, and leveraging available non-NOAA data to fill gaps are critical. This objective includes assessing the optimal location and density (spatial and temporal) of collected observations, informing the reconfiguration of existing NOAA observing systems.

R&D Targets:

  • Develop a system architecture that integrates non-NOAA data, optimally exploiting data from the Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS)

  • Evaluate technical options for, or modifications to, NOAA’s current observing system that enhance understanding, provide accurate assessments, characterizations, and monitoring (including ecosystem state and processes), or reduce costs

  • Establish a method to assess the optimal location(s) and density (spatial and temporal) of collected observations to inform optimization of existing NOAA observing systems

  • Prototype a tool that optimizes NOAA vessel data collection scheduling while minimizing impact on other missions tasked to that vessel

Objective 3

Improved accuracy, coverage, resolution, and effectiveness, and cost of observation systems

NOAA aims to improve the accuracy of observational data to meet the needs of all users by leveraging advanced technologies, following best practices, and fostering the use of national/international standards and traceability as embraced by the NOAA calibration center, through collaboration with partner agencies, organizations (such as NIST and NASA), and the scientific community. This objective entails creating prototype sensors and methodologies that provide new ways of sensing NOAA’s required observation parameters, increased measurement accuracy, and increased effectiveness/efficiency in measuring observations (e.g., enhanced coverage, resolution, and collection time). This objective also includes evaluating the utility, effectiveness, efficiency, and economy of new sensors and methodologies, as well as their transition to applications and operations.

R&D Targets:

  • Investigate new ways of sensing NOAA’s required observation parameters for physical, chemical, biological parameters of the deep ocean

  • Develop marine sensors and biosensors capable of withstanding the stresses of an aquatic environment while providing accurate and reliable data

  • Develop instrumentation for highly-accurate measurements of ocean acidification in both surface and subsurface locations

  • Prototype instrumentation and methodologies for exploiting lidar and acoustics technologies to measure ocean parameters

  • Develop next-generation geostationary, GOES-R series, and polar-orbiting, JPSS series, operational environmental satellites

  • Develop JPSS User Services free-flyer satellites

  • Develop Jason Continuity of Service satellites for altimetry observations of the oceans

Objective 4

Ascertain quantified measurement uncertainty for all components of NOAA’s observing system, as well as for non-NOAA data sources used operationally

The uncertainty of a prediction or projection depends, in part, on the how well the accuracy of the input data is known; consequently, the uncertainty of the measurements employed in NOAA products, predictions, and projections needs to be determined.

R&D Targets:

  • Demonstrate an initial integrated satellite calibration and validation system (ICVS) to fully characterize the observational uncertainties from U.S. and foreign satellite data and to make global data more consistent in quality, standards, and intercalibration between instruments

  • Establish the measurement uncertainty for non-satellite instruments and observation systems for data analysis and model assimilation