7. Constraints and Enablers
Aside from funding and human resources, the Division's work will be constrained by:
- Limited access to NWS NWP systems
SMCD scientists require access to the NWP models and diagnosis
systems to test advanced radiative transfer system and new
satellite products in realistic weather prediction environments.
Limitations on access will delay evaluation and implementation
of new satellite developments in operational NWP.
- Not enough parallel computing systems at SMCD for all
satellite products produced by NESDIS OSDPD
All new or improved satellite products developed by SMCD should
be tested on product processing systems that are duplicates of
those running at OSDPD. Without sufficient parallel computing
capability, transition of research to operations will be slowed.
- Lack of a networked, parallel processing system linking STAR's
Without such a networked, parallel system, SMCD scientists
are hampered by inefficiencies in computing resources.
- Limited scientific capability in new instrument areas:
active instruments, APS, ERBS, TSIS
Over the last few decades SMCD has built up strong scientific
expertise in passive remote sensing to match the capabilities
of the satellite instruments in operational use. Active systems,
such as GPSOS, lidars and radars are the wave of the future.
In addition, NPOESS with its complement of climate instruments
that have never flown on earlier operational satellites presents
- Limited ground truth
Validation of satellite remote sensing products requires ground-based
observations. In many cases, these are available from the standard
weather observing network. In others, however, SMCD is dependent on
the observational programs of other groups, and these may not suffice
to fully characterize the accuracy of some of the satellite products.
Anticipated loss of senior scientific staff as a result of retirement
The demographics of the Division are such that members of the senior
scientific staff are retiring at a relatively high rate. Loss of this
wealth of experience and expertise will impact the Division's performance
but also open opportunities to entrain bright new talent.
Enablers consist of:
- Dramatic increase in satellite observing capabilities over the next
5 years (see Section on Trends and Drivers)
Hyperspectral sounding and imaging instruments on Metop, NPP, NPOESS,
and GOES-R, active instruments such as GPS/RO, Cloudsat,
Precipitation Radars, Calipso, and ALADIN (Atmospheric Laser Doppler
Instrument), and new operational passive instruments such as the NPOESS
APS, ERBS, and TSIS will provide unprecedented observing capabilities.
- Competent core of SMCD civil servant scientists and supporting
contractors and post-docs/visiting scientists
SMCD's scientists are world-class. They are frequently selected as
invited speakers at national and international scientific events,
appointed to scientific committees, requested to review papers and
proposals, and serve as editors of scientific journals.
- Advances in computing infrastructure and communications
Continuing advances in computing hardware and software and in high
speed communications will facilitate the Division's work.
- A good working environment
SMCD's collegial atmosphere is conducive to creative work. Its
participation in the Demonstration Program Personnel System
provides incentives - rapid promotion, salary increases, or bonuses
- for high achievers.