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Ensuring the Climate Record from the NPP and NPOESS Meteorological Satellites D The Role of Science Teams The advantages of developing close working relationships among members of the science community and those directly involved with a particular instrument and its data system are well known. The committee believes these close working relationship can be provided to a large degree by the creation of science teams for the instruments, their associated climate data records (CDRs), and the long-term archive (LTA). Relative to the cost of the instruments and the data system, the committee sees this as being a small but essential investment. The committee advises as follows: Science teams should be recruited competitively through Announcements of Opportunity and the proposal peer review process with 3 to 5 years of support envisioned. Renewals should be dependent on the team members' contribution and on the need to maintain continuity. Consideration should be given to scientific publications and presentations at national and international science meetings. There should be frequent meetings to facilitate contacts with engineering and agency representatives and to guide dataset preparation, development, and distribution. Science teams should provide outreach to the broader science community, thus helping to strengthen the user community for the instrument. IMPLEMENTATION PRINCIPLES The science team construct has been applied successfully by NASA to satellite missions, often on a sensor-by-sensor basis. The committee's recommendations for developing climate processing and archival strategies for NPP and NPOESS include competitions to select the science working teams (SWTs), which will become integral parts of the program to also develop CDRs and support the LTA (see Figure D.1). The SWTs should follow some principles of implementation that are based on past experience. First, an SWT should be selected through an open and competitive process (e.g., an Announcement of Opportunity, peer-reviewed proposals, or selection by an advisory panel). SWT memberships should be planned to last 2 to 5 years in order to strike a balance between refreshing the intellectual pool regularly and attracting potential principal investigators (PIs) by offering a multiyear commitment that will allow in-depth investigations. An SWT should be limited to 15 or 20 PIs such that its meetings will be interactive and permit efficient interfaces with agency and engineering personnel. SWT meetings should be held frequently (as often as twice a year) to maximize science input that will guide system refinements and data product development and distribution. Subsets of the team may need to meet more often. Renewal awards for SWT PIs should weight heavily the PI contribution to the team, his or her record on publications germane to the sensor system or data archive in question, and PI participation in national and
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international science meetings where data products and science applications are reported. The committee proposes that there should be two science teams: one associated with the instrument and the other associated with the long-term archive. A third joint working group established from members of these two teams would focus on the development, production, and management of CDRs (see Figure D.1). BENEFITS AND ORGANIZATION OF SCIENCE TEAMS The committee believes that competitively chosen science working teams for the NPOESS Preparatory Project would have a number of benefits because they would do the following: Facilitate early science efforts (e.g. on prototype systems and/or synthetic datasets) that could contribute directly to engineering and systems analyses. Optimize algorithms through competition (e.g. retrieval algorithms, extrapolations, etc.) Provide a conduit to the user community. Provide timely notice to the research community, which would rapidly expand the user base. Exploit the science perspective for system refinements (i.e. for follow-on missions), validation, and error detection. As stated in the recommendations contained in Chapter 4 and reiterated in the Executive Summary, the development of an end-to-end climate data system for NPP, including the implementation of the NPP SWT, should begin now, with EOS and other relevant existing sensor data serving as prototypes for NPP systems. In this way, the NPP SWT could influence engineering and systems analyses before the NPP launch. The NPP SWT should be encouraged to develop synthetic data sets from heritage sensor systems. Such data sets could demonstrate science applications and build the case in the science community for NPP and NPOESS as viable sources of CDR. Just prior to and just after launch, competition within an SWT would serve to optimize retrieval algorithm development and efficiency. Similarly, early science results presented by SWT members would advertise NPP and NPOESS CDR applications and rapidly expand the science user base. The SWT perspective would be critical for quality assessment and validation efforts, including in situ measurement comparisons when feasible. SWT experience would also lead to system refinements for follow-on missions (e.g., NPP to NPOESS). Instrument Team The committee views the NPP instrument team as requiring a mixture of expertise: Instrument/sensor experts; Retrieval algorithm and calibration experts; Science applications experts (climate, with a global-scale emphasis);
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Data systems experts (help develop CDRs with application experts and calibration and validation information); and Validation expert with in situ experiment capability. The particular blend of expertise is expected to evolve along with the program. At first, SWT expertise will likely be weighted toward sensor systems. Retrieval algorithm competitions will become important immediately before and after launch, and applications and data systems experts will be required from launch through (repeating) validation exercises. The same blend of expertise will be needed for the development of CDRs, with leadership roles probably being assumed by applications and data systems experts. Climate Data Archive Team The committee sees several key advantages of having a science working team for the climate data archive (CDA). These include gaining a science perspective on the minimum levels of service required to implement a useful and affordable data system and the establishment of science-based priorities for various CDRs within the NPP and NPOESS datasets. In addition, a CDA team would be an efficient means of exposure to new archive hardware and software technologies, including storage media, dataset migration, and retrieval strategies. Like the instrument team, a CDA SWT would serve as a conduit to the broader user community. It would disseminate expertise on key CDRs and serve to relieve agency responsibility for documentation by publishing in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. The committee anticipates that the CDA SWT would require a blend of expertise: Archive hardware experts; Archive software experts (database systems, statistical methods for large datasets); Climate data record experts who would develop CDRs with the help of the above- mentioned instrument team; and Applications experts (climate data analyses, general circulation model validation). Data system hardware and software experts should interact with experts on CDR applications. The former should collaborate with NPP SWT experts in the definition of specific CDRs for NPP and NPOESS. In addition, the CDA team might include applications experts in the fields of general circulation model validations. CDR Joint Science Group The CDR joint science group would consist of climate data record experts from both teams and from other groups outside the teams that are involved in the development, generation, and archival of CDRs. The task of this group would be to coordinate CDR- related activities within the two teams, to plan for the data archive needs, and to provide a forum for the development of guidelines and best practices for CDR generation and management.
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Figure D.1 Roles and responsibilities of the instrument, CDR generation, and data archive science teams.