GOS,”25 which makes specific recommendations concerning the evolution of the space-based and surface-based subsystem of the GOS. Those recommendations were based on guidance from the Rolling Requirements Review process26 as well as observing system experiments, and observing system simulation experiments performed by various NWP centers.

Results from these experiments are presented at WMO-sponsored workshops, such as the Fourth WMO Workshop on the Impact of Various Observing systems on NWP. Because of the long lead times for satellite systems, plans for the evolution of the space-based portion of the GOS have been based mainly on the long-term planning of both operational and research satellite operators. Future research missions will continue to contribute to the space-based component of the GOS while influencing its evolution. Those planned research missions include investigations of atmospheric chemistry and trace gases, the Earth’s gravity field, soil moisture and ocean salinity, atmospheric winds using lidar, disaster and environmental monitoring, integrated atmospheric column water vapor, cloud ice content, cloud droplet properties and distribution, aerosols, and polar ice and snow water equivalent. Instrumentation under development to accomplish these measurements include space-borne lidar, high-resolution and hyperspectral imaging and sounding instrumentation, active and passive microwave sensors, cloud resolving radars, and L-band radars.


Information on WMO activities with respect to redesign of the GOS can be found at http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/www/OSY/GOS-redesign.html, with a link to WMO Technical Document 1267 at http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/www/OSY/Documentation/Impl-Plan-GOS_Sept2004.pdf.


The Rolling Requirements Review (RRR) process is used to determine how well the GOS is meeting WMO user requirements in a variety of applications area. The RRR procedure consists of four steps: review of user requirements for observations; assessment of the capabilities of existing and planned observing systems; critical review (gap analysis), comparing the requirements with system capabilities, in terms of present and planned networks; and statement of guidance, which lists conclusions and identifies priorities for action. This information is made available to all users (WMO 2007).

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