in going from sensor development to operational deployment. There are many players involved in each step, and Figure 2-10 attempts to list them, and much on-going activity. Nonetheless, the process is far from smooth or seamless. As examples, current operational sensor networks generally have no plans to utilize new sensor and sensor networking technologies that would integrate various types of measurements to produce improved operational observations. At the same time, most university centers working on sensor development have no plans or resources to test their sensors within larger integrated field demonstrations that incorporate a variety of sensors, inter-connected through embedded networks and cyberinfrastructure for their potential delivery to data users.
From Figure 2-10, the committee sees Balkanization of the sensor development process, and subsequent gaps in agency programs, including potentially new roles for NSF as the nation’s primary research funding agency. Specific recommendations are offered in Chapter 5 for addressing these gaps.