C
Previous NRC Statements, Findings, and Recommendations

TABLE C.1 Previous NRC Statements, Findings, and Recommendations

Category

Statement, Finding, or RecommendationReporta

 

Concepts for Organizational Structure and/or Responsibility

“NWS should establish a continuing process for assessing the state of EMC’s technology and for updating it as needed to accomplish EMC’s national mission. This process should be part of a broader NWS plan for technology infusion. This requires a plan based on assessment of life expectations for major equipment, a capital budget that reflects realistic costs for the required upgrade of equipment, and an assessment of the organizational structure (staff requirements, opportunities for alliances, etc.) needed to utilize this technology efficiently.” (p. 6)

From Research to Operations in Weather Satellites and Numerical Weather Prediction: Crossing the Valley of Death (2000)

 

“NASA and NOAA should implement a replacement to the Operational Satellite Improvement Program (OSIP) having the following characteristics:

  • A planned path for a transition of instruments from research to operations

  • A commitment to algorithm development commensurate with hardware development

  • Calibration and validation of derived geophysical parameters

  • Close linkage to the development, testing, and integration facility at NOAA’s EMC.” (p. 8)

 

 

“NOAA should form a team at the start of sensor development, consisting of NOAA and non-NOAA scientists, as well as those representing the end user of forecast information, to (1) plan the full scope of the data research utilization effort as part of sensor design with a budget to support the activity, and (2) assist NCEP in developing the archiving requirements for the EMC user communities.” (p. 8)

 



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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond C Previous NRC Statements, Findings, and Recommendations TABLE C.1 Previous NRC Statements, Findings, and Recommendations Category Statement, Finding, or RecommendationReporta   Concepts for Organizational Structure and/or Responsibility “NWS should establish a continuing process for assessing the state of EMC’s technology and for updating it as needed to accomplish EMC’s national mission. This process should be part of a broader NWS plan for technology infusion. This requires a plan based on assessment of life expectations for major equipment, a capital budget that reflects realistic costs for the required upgrade of equipment, and an assessment of the organizational structure (staff requirements, opportunities for alliances, etc.) needed to utilize this technology efficiently.” (p. 6) From Research to Operations in Weather Satellites and Numerical Weather Prediction: Crossing the Valley of Death (2000)   “NASA and NOAA should implement a replacement to the Operational Satellite Improvement Program (OSIP) having the following characteristics: A planned path for a transition of instruments from research to operations A commitment to algorithm development commensurate with hardware development Calibration and validation of derived geophysical parameters Close linkage to the development, testing, and integration facility at NOAA’s EMC.” (p. 8)     “NOAA should form a team at the start of sensor development, consisting of NOAA and non-NOAA scientists, as well as those representing the end user of forecast information, to (1) plan the full scope of the data research utilization effort as part of sensor design with a budget to support the activity, and (2) assist NCEP in developing the archiving requirements for the EMC user communities.” (p. 8)  

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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond Category Statement, Finding, or Recommendation Reporta Concepts for Organizational Structure and/or Responsibility (cont’d) “Climate research and monitoring capabilities should be balanced with the requirements for operational weather observation and forecasting within an overall U.S. strategy for future satellite observing systems…. The Executive Branch should establish a panel within the federal government that will assess the U.S. remote sensing programs and their ability to meet the science and policy needs for climate research and monitoring and the requirements for operational weather observation and forecasting. The panel should be convened under the auspices of the National Science and Technology Council and draw upon input from agency representatives, climate researchers, and operational users. The panel should convene a series of open workshops with broad participation by the remote sensing and climate research communities, and by operational users, to begin the development of a national climate observing strategy that would leverage existing satellite-based and ground-based components.” (p. 5) Issues in the Integration of Research and Operations for Climate Research. Part I. Science and Design (2000)   “Research studies on the socio-economic aspects of climate and climate modeling should be undertaken at appropriate institutions to design the institutional and governmental structures required to provide effective climate services. The assessment should include: Improving the Effectiveness of U.S. Climate Modeling (2001)     an examination of present and future societal needs for climate information; a diagnosis of existing institutional capabilities for providing climate services; an analysis of institutional and governmental constraints for sustaining a climate observing system, modeling the climate system, communicating with the research community, and delivering useful climate information; an analysis of the human resources available and needed to accomplish the above tasks; … recommendations on the most effective form of institutional and governmental organization to produce and deliver climate information for the public and private sectors.” (pp. 7-8)     “Budgets for mission operations and data analysis should be included as an integral part of mission and/or program funding. Reviews, including NASA’s nonadvocate review, which is required to authorize project funding, should include assessment of the data analysis elements, including archiving and timely provision of data to users. While reviews of some projects already follow this recommendation, its implementation is not uniform across all NASA programs. The appropriate balance between hardware and software investment is best determined jointly by NASA managers and the user communities involved in the mission.” (p. 5) Assessment of the Usefulness and Availability of NASA’s Earth and Space Science Mission Data (2002)

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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond Category Statement, Finding, or Recommendation Reporta Concepts for Organizational Structure and/or Responsibility (cont’d) “NASA planning and project funding should continue to include provisions for the timely generation and synthesis of data into information and the dissemination of this information to the diverse communities of users. This plan should take into account the needs—and the contribution to information generation—of end users, including other federal and state agencies, educational organizations, and commercial enterprises. The plan should include provisions for ongoing assessment of the effectiveness of data transfer and its educational value.” (p. 8) Assessment of the Usefulness and Availability of NASA’s Earth and Space Science Mission Data (2002) (cont’d)   “A strong and effective Interagency Transition Office for the planning and coordination of activities of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in support of transitioning research to operations should be established by and should report to the highest levels of NASA and NOAA.” (p. 5) Satellite Observations of the Earth’s Environment: Accelerating the Transition from Research to Operations (2003)   “All NASA Earth science satellite missions should be formally evaluated in the early stages of the mission planning process for potential applications to operations in the short, medium, or long term, and resources should be planned for and secured to support appropriate mission transition activities.” (p. 6)     “NASA and NOAA should jointly work toward and should budget for an adaptive and flexible operational system in order to support the rapid infusion of new satellite observational technologies, the validation of new capabilities, and the implementation of new operational applications.” (pp. 7-8)     “The NWS should establish an independent advisory committee to provide ongoing advice to it on weather and climate matters. The committee should be composed of users of weather and climate data and representatives of the public, private, and academic sectors, and it should consider issues relevant to each sector as well as to the set of players as a group, such as (but not limited to) improving communication among the sectors, creating or discontinuing products, enhancing scientific and technical capabilities that support the NWS mission, improving data quality and timeliness, and disseminating data and information.” (p. 4) Fair Weather: Effective Partnerships in Weather and Climate Services (2003)

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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond Category Statement, Finding, or Recommendation Reporta Data Handling “It is critical that NPOESS develop a coherent and credible plan for the archiving of NPOESS data so that the data are readily available to the community, including the research, operational, and private sectors. This data availability should extend from raw satellite data to gridded geophysical variables to address the range of potential users.” (p. 9) From Research to Operations in Weather Satellites and Numerical Weather Prediction: Crossing the Valley of Death (2000)     “A long-term archiving system is needed that provides easy and affordable access for a large number of scientists in many different fields…. The system should have the ability to reprocess large data sets as understanding of sensor performance, algorithms, and Earth science improves. Examples of sources of new information that would warrant data reprocessing include the discovery of processing errors, the detection of sensor calibration drift, the availability of better ancillary data sets, and better geophysical models.” (p. 4) Issues in the Integration of Research and Operations for Climate Research. Part II. Implementation (2000)   “The use of internationally recognized formats, standards, and protocols should be encouraged for remote sensing data and information…. [E]ntities pursuing common remote sensing data formats and standards should consult with the sensor and software vendors to ensure that data acquired from the use of new technologies for data acquisition, analysis, and storage and distribution are consistent with other sets.” (p. 6) Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications (2001)   “In order to maximize the effectiveness of different operational climate modeling efforts, these efforts should be linked to each other and to the research community by a common modeling and data infrastructure. Furthermore, operational modeling should maintain links to the latest advances in computer science and information technology.” (p. 7) Improving the Effectiveness of U.S. Climate Modeling (2001)   “NOAA should begin now to develop and implement the capability to preserve in perpetuity the basic satellite measurements (radiances and brightness temperatures). “The development of long-term, consistent time series based on CDRs [climate data records] requires access to the lowest level of data available. In general, this means the raw data records (RDRs), or Level 1A data. The low-level data can be used to develop refined CDRs as scientific and technical understanding of Earth processes and sensor performance improves over time.” (p. 4) Ensuring the Climate Record from the NPP and NPOESS Meteorological Satellites (2001)

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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond Category Statement, Finding, or Recommendation Reporta Data Handling (cont’d) “NOAA should guarantee climate researchers affordable access to all RDRs in the long-term archive, with an emphasis on large-volume data access. “Development of CDRs requires access to enormous data volumes, Meteorological but it is likely that only a small number of researchers will need such extensive access to the raw data. Thus, a well-designed set of basic services would meet this basic function without being too costly.” (p. 4) Ensuring the Climate Record from the NPP and NPOESS Satellites (2001) (cont’d)   “NASA, in cooperation with NOAA, should support the development and evaluation of CDRs, as well as their refinement through data reprocessing. “Because the CDR process is driven by science understanding, there will be a continuing need for the involvement of researchers. The NOAA/NASA Pathfinder shows that the agencies can generate critical data sets for transitioning research products into operational data products. Over the next decades, the committee expects that a few experimental CDRs may become effectively ‘operational’ products and will be produced by NOAA.” (pp. 4-5)     “NOAA and NASA should define and develop a basic set of user services and tools to meet specific functions for the science community, with NOAA assuming increasing responsibility for this activity as data migrates to the long-term archive. “NASA’s Distributed Active Archives Centers, as well as components of NASA’s Earth Science Information Partners, are gaining experience with responding to data requests and setting up user services. Although the focus is on the order entry process (catalog, data location, browse, etc.), more attention needs to be given to quality assurance and the order fulfillment process (metadata, subsetting, electronic data delivery, etc.). Emphasis should be given to reducing cost through automation. It is essential that the large-volume data sets from the archive be affordable for the science user community.” (p. 5)     “NOAA, in cooperation with NASA, should invest in early, limited capability prototypes for both long-term archiving and the NPP data system. “Data systems that do not develop, test, and evaluate on a frequent, regular basis are nearly always late and over budget. System development costs generally increase as the cube of the number of years in development. A climate data system will build on existing components and existing capabilities, but new functions and new interfaces must be developed and implemented to meet the requirements for climate research.” (p. 6)  

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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond Category Statement, Finding, or Recommendation Reporta Data Handling (cont’d) “NASA and NOAA should develop and support activities that will Meteorological enable a blend of distributed and centralized data and information services for climate research. “NASA and NOAA should consider a hybrid mode of operation rather than building a rigid, centralized system or relying on structure to emerge from an uncoordinated set of data systems. The government should ensure and manage the activities it does best, while fostering innovation and flexibility in those parts of the overall system that do not need to be closely managed.” (p. 6) Ensuring the Climate Record from the NPP and NPOESS Satellites (2001) (cont’d)   “NASA should assume formal responsibility for maintaining its data sets and ensuring long-term access to them to permit new investigations that will continue to add to our scientific understanding. In some cases, it may be appropriate to transfer this responsibility to other federal agencies, but NASA must continue to maintain the data until adequate resources for preservation and access are available at the agency scheduled to receive the data from NASA.” (p. 6) Assessment of the Usefulness and Availability of NASA’s Earth and Space Science Mission Data (2002)   “NASA should encourage efforts by the scientific community to develop plans for federations of data centers and services that would enable complex querying, mining, and merging of data from different instruments and missions in order to answer complex, large-scale scientific questions.” (p. 7)     “Data produced by the private sector in a public-private partnership should be archived for subsequent redistribution to scientists and for creating long time series of data. The government partner should negotiate for permission to do this.” (p. 5) Toward New Partnerships in Remote Sensing: Government, the Private Sector, and Earth Science Research (2002)   “In the process of negotiating a public-private sector data partnership, the parties should agree to use commonly accepted standards for metadata, data formats, and data portability.” (p. 6)   “The NWS should make its data and products available in Internet-accessible digital form. Information held in digital databases should be based on widely recognized standards, formats, and metadata descriptions to ensure that data from different observing platforms, databases, and models can be integrated and used by all interested parties in the weather and climate enterprise.” (p. 6) Fair Weather: Effective Partnerships in Weather and Climate Services (2003)   “The NWS should retain its role as the official source of instrumentation, data, and data collection standards to ensure that scientific benchmarks for collecting, verifying, and reporting data are maintained. It should lead efforts to follow, harmonize, and extend standards, formats, and metadata to ensure that data from NWS and non-NWS networks, databases, and communications technology can be integrated and used with relative ease.” (pp. 7-8)  

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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond Category Statement, Finding, or Recommendation Reporta Data Handling (cont’d) “With their user communities, data centers should accelerate work toward standardizing and making formats more transparent for data and metadata and thereby improve distribution and interoperability between data centers, between data centers and users, and between users. Metadata formatted in XML would assure that recipients would be able to parse data automatically and feed them directly to their applications.” (p. 2) Government Data Centers: Meeting Increasing Demands (2003)   “Data centers and their sponsoring agencies should shift the primary storage medium from tape to disk. In addition, data centers and their sponsoring agencies should enable direct random on-line access through networks and provide support for remote queries on databases.” (p. 3)     “Data centers and their sponsoring agencies should implement database technologies. When applicable, these technologies can improve data search and query, access and acquisition, interoperability, and retrieval from storage.” (p. 3)     “To ensure that the greatest use is made of environmental data, (1) data producers should include data lineage and authenticity information in the metadata; (2) data centers should improve management of and access to metadata through standard formats and database technologies; and (3) users should routinely cite the data products they use in their investigations, using agreed upon dataset identifiers. To the greatest extent possible, data centers and data producers should rely on automatic tools for creating and managing metadata.” (p. 4)     “Data centers should adopt commodity hardware and commercial and open-source software solutions to the widest extent possible and concentrate their own efforts on problems that are unique to environmental data management. In addition, data centers and user communities should take advantage of federated distributed systems for making data available.” (p. 5)     “Data centers and their sponsoring agencies should create independent demonstration data centers aimed at testing applicable technologies and satisfying the data needs of a range of users, including interdisciplinary and nontechnical users. These centers might best prove technological approaches through several participants working in parallel.” (p. 6)     “Data centers should aggressively adopt newer, more “bleeding edge” technical approaches where there might be significant return on investment. This should be done carefully to minimize the inevitable failures that will occur along the way. Even with the failures, the committee believes the cost savings and improvements for end users will be substantial when compared to the methods practiced today.” (p. 6)  

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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond Category Statement, Finding, or Recommendation Reporta Research to Operations “Joint research and operational opportunities such as the NPOESS Preparatory Project should become a permanent part of the U.S. Earth observing remote sensing strategy.” (p. 6) Issues in the Integration of Research and Operations for Climate Research. Part I. Science and Design (2000)   “The full, life-cycle cost of developing and using remote sensing data products goes beyond obtaining the data and includes, among others, staff for data processing, interpretation, and integration; education and training; hardware and software upgrades; and sustained interactions between technical personnel and end users…. Although many of these costs are incurred at the time a technology is first employed, the life-cycle costs and benefits of remote sensing applications are not well understood.” (p. 3) Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications (2001)   “Improve the Capability to Serve the Climate Information Needs of the Nation. Ensure a strong and healthy transition of the U.S. research accomplishments into predictive capabilities that serve the nation…. Expand the breadth and quality of climate products through the development of new instrumentation and technology…. Address climate service product needs derived from long-term projections through an increase in the nation’s modeling and analysis capabilities…. Develop better climate service products based on ensemble climate simulations.” (p. 5) A Climate Services Vision: First Steps Toward the Future (2001)   “The insertion of technology raises issues of hardware and software capability and capacity. Once a major system design … has been finalized, it is increasingly difficult to accommodate change. Hence, advance planning that anticipates change and technology insertion over the life of the program is essential. Such planning should be part of the … system definition and risk reduction (SDRR) phase and continue into the subsequent stages of design” (p. 39) Issues in the Integration of Research and Operations for Climate Research. Part II. Implementation (2001)   “The operational federal agencies, NOAA and DOD, should establish procedures to identify and prioritize operational needs, and these needs should determine which model types are selected for transitioning by the Community Coordinated Modeling Center and Rapid Prototyping Centers. After the needs have been prioritized, procedures should be established to determine which of the competing models, public or private, is best suited for a particular operational requirement.” (p. 14) The Sun to the Earth—and Beyond: A Decadal Research Strategy in Solar and Space Physics (2002)

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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond Category Statement, Finding, or Recommendation Reporta Applications and Users “NASA’s office of Earth Science, Applications Division, in consultation with other stakeholders … should mount a study to identify and analyze the full range of short- and long-term costs and benefits of developing remote sensing applications and the full costs of their implementation by public, nongovernmental, and other noncommercial users. In addition, NASA should support economic analyses to reduce the start-up costs of developing new remote sensing applications.” (pp. 3-4) Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications (2001)   “The Land Grant, Sea Grant, and Agricultural Extension programs should be expanded to include graduate fellowships and associateships to permit students to work at agencies that use remote sensing data. Such programs could help to improve communication and understanding among the scientists and engineers who develop applications for remote sensing data and the agencies that use them. “NASA’s Space Grant program could be extended to include these training activities, much as the Land Grant program has fostered the development of agricultural extension agents.” (p. 5)     “Federal agencies, including those that produce remote sensing images and those that use them, should consider creating ‘extern’ programs with the purpose of fostering the exchange of staff among user and producer agencies for training purposes. “For example, NASA, NOAA, and USGS should create an extern program in collaboration with potential user agencies, such as the EPA … and in so doing could produce trained staff to serve as brokers for information and further training.” (pp. 4-5)     “Interdisciplinary Studies and Capabilities are Needed to Address Societal Needs. Develop regional enterprises designed to expand the nature and scope of climate services…. Increase support for interdisciplinary climate studies, applications, and education…. Foster climate policy education…. Enhance the understanding of climate through public education.” (p. 6) A Climate Services Vision: First Steps Toward the Future (2001) Gaps and Interfaces “The financial gap between the acquisition of the remote sensing data and the development of a usable application. The purchase of data is only the first of a large number of steps affecting the cost of a successful application. An organization, commercial firm, or government agency that wants to incorporate remote sensing applications into its operations must be prepared for a long-term financial investment in staff, ongoing training (both technical and user training), hardware, and software, at a minimum. Alternatively, the potential user organization should be prepared to purchase these services from a value-adding provider.” (p. 3) Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications (2001)

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Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond Category Statement, Finding, or Recommendation Reporta Gaps and Interfaces (cont’d) “The gap between raw remote sensing data collected and the information needed by applications users. Users need information, and the process of transforming data into information is a critical step in the development of successful remote sensing applications.” (p. 3) Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications (2001) (cont’d)   “The gap in communication and understanding between those with technical experience and training and the potential new end users of the technology. Producers and technical processors of remote sensing data must be able to understand the needs, cultural context, and organizational environments of end users. Education and training can also help to ensure that new end users have a better understanding of the potential utility of the technology.” (p. 3)   aThe National Research Council (NRC) reports cited were all published by the National Academy Press (as of mid-2002 The National Academies Press), Washington, D.C., in the year indicated.