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rapid infusion of new satellite observational technologies, the validation of new capabilities, and the implementation of new operational applications.
Operational satellite programs should provide for the capability of validating advanced instruments in space and of cross-calibrating them with existing instruments, in parallel to the operational mission, by the most efficient means possible (e.g., by reserving approximately 25 percent of the payload power, volume, and mass capability; through “bridge” missions; and so on).
To the extent possible, observations from research missions should be provided in real time or near real time to researchers and potential users. Operational centers or associated test beds should use and evaluate the research observations in developing their products and should provide feedback to researchers. Test beds such as the Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation and the Joint Hurricane Testbed should be supported as a way to bridge the final steps in the gap between research and operations. The primary mission of such test beds should not be to conduct basic research or operations, but rather to develop and test new real-time modeling and data-assimilation systems to use the new observations. The test beds should include participation by the academic research community and should be quasi-independent from the operational agencies.
Senior personnel responsible for transition activities should be located at major operational centers of NOAA and at the major research segments of NASA.