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Issues in the Integration of Research and Operational Satellite Systems for Climate Research: II. Implementation A Statement of Task INTEGRATION OF RESEARCH AND OPERATIONAL SATELLITE SYSTEMS Background NASA officials have long envisioned developing operational versions of some of the advanced climate and weather monitoring instruments planned for the Earth Observing System (EOS) afternoon (PM) satellite. In the 1995 EOS “Reshape” exercise, NASA adopted the assumption that some of the measurements in the second PM series would be supplied by the Department of Commerce (NOAA) and Department of Defense (Air Force) National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS). NASA is about to begin intensive planning for the EOS-PM mission. NASA is also examining the potential for advanced instruments on future versions of the NOAA GOES (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite) satellites to be integrated into the EOS program. Integrating NOAA-DOD operational weather satellites into NASA’s Earth Observing System program poses numerous interrelated technical and organizational challenges. By definition, the “operational” weather programs of NOAA and DOD must meet the needs of users who require unbroken data streams. Historically, development of operational instrumentation has been successful when managed with a disciplined, conservative approach towards the introduction of new technology. In addition to minimizing technical risk, minimizing cost has been an important factor in the success of operational programs, especially for NOAA. Achieving NASA research aims on a satellite designed to meet the operational needs of the civil and defense communities will require agreement on joint agency requirements, and coordination of instrument development activities, launch schedules, and precursor flight activities. The proposed study will include an analysis of these issues, especially those related to (1) sensor design and development, (2) program synchronization, and (3) data continuity and interoperability. Plan The proposed study will analyze generic issues related to the transition of NASA research satellite instrumentation for NOAA operational use. The study will focus in particular on observational priorities and technical issues related to the potential integration of the NOAA-DOD NPOESS satellite with the NASA EOS “PM” series of satellites. Among the key questions to be addressed are:
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Issues in the Integration of Research and Operational Satellite Systems for Climate Research: II. Implementation Sensors and Measurements How well do current NPOESS IORD requirements match NASA research requirements for the EOS PM-2 satellite series? Are there any overlaps with AM-2 or CHEM requirements? If additional capability is needed for climate monitoring goals, what is this capability and what are technical and programmatic implications? Are there instruments that could be added to the operational suite, e.g., a scatterometer or SAR? What issues must be addressed in adding capabilities of this kind? What are the requirements for on-orbit or ready-to-launch replacement instrumentation for research and operational goals? Are there common spares strategies that could serve both research and operational needs satisfactorily? What issues might arise should NPOESS be tasked to undertake new missions such as long-term climate monitoring? Program Synchronization What are the critical milestones in integrating research and operational space systems? Are any disjoints apparent? What are possible approaches to establishing program flexibility to ensure that both research and operational missions are achieved in the face of inevitable schedule changes? Data Continuity and Interoperability What are the highest priorities for continuous/interoperable research datasets? What are technical approaches to ensuring data (a) interoperability between research and operational sensors and (b) continuity in the face of evolving sensor technology? What is the status of data storage, retrieval, and access planning for research use of NOAA operational data or possible NPOESS-obtained climate data? A report summarizing the findings and recommendations that address technical items (1) and (2) (‘Sensors and Measurements’) and ‘Program Synchronization’) will be the Phase 1 report. Item (3) ‘Data Continuity and Interoperability’ will be addressed in the Phase 2 report.
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