NOAA Center for Satellite Applications and Research banner
 
Intranet • Contact • Skip navigation
National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration website NOAA Center for Satellite Applications and Research website

SMC shield4. Road Map

In this section, we summarize the research projects the Division will be working on. For each project, we list its Title, Objective(s), and Significance. The contribution(s) of each project to Objectives of NOAA Goals is contained in Section 8: Impact on Society and NOAA Goals. More detailed information on project tasks, timelines, building blocks, milestones, etc. is contained in Appendix 2: Road Map Diagrams

Road map graphic

1. Active Remote Sensors

Objectives

  • Develop prototype and first-generation active sounder algorithms
  • Evaluate and assess observations and data products delivered by active sounders
  • Transition the space-based active sensor observations to operational use

Significance

  • After 45 years of passive remote sensing from satellites, active sensors will add new capabilities
  • Temperature and wind fields with unprecedented vertical resolution will be achieved

2. Aerosol Remote Sensing from Operational Satellites

Objectives

  • Construct long term aerosol datasets for climate research.
  • Monitor aerosol forcing from space.
  • Develop aerosol products for air-quality applications for current and future sensors on NPOESS and GOES-R.

Significance

  • Can anthropogenic aerosols cancel the effects of greenhouse warming? These data sets will help answer this crucial question.
  • Increasingly accurate measurements are needed to correct satellite observations of sea surface temperature and provide input to air quality assessments and forecasts

3. Air Quality Applications of Satellite Data

Objectives

  • Demonstrate the applicability of satellite-derived products for air quality monitoring and forecasting
  • Improve current aerosol retrieval algorithms and develop new algorithms for future advanced sensors
  • Develop capabilities for global air quality monitoring from current and future operational NOAA/IJPS/NPOESS instruments
  • Develop capabilities to transition NASA research satellite data into NESDIS operations
  • Develop chemical data assimilation capabilities to improve air quality forecasts

Significance

  • This project will develop the space observations component of NOAA's air quality forecasts

4. Aviation Hazards

Objective

  • Develop, improve, and evaluate potential new products or techniques derived from GOES or Polar multi-spectral Imager or Sounder data to improve the detection and short range forecasting of aviation hazards. Examples of aviation hazards included in this project are: fog and low clouds, aircraft icing, turbulence, volcanic ash, and convective wind gusts. Research will focus on the development of algorithms for optimum detection of conditions suitable for the occurrence of these hazards based on satellite and ancillary data.

Significance

  • Although passenger aircraft are safer than ever, larger capacity aircraft and more people flying create increasing vulnerabilities to environmental conditions.
  • This focused project will substantially improve the detection of environmental hazards for aircraft and reduce loss of life and property

5. Community Radiative Transfer Model

Objective

  • Develop the community radiative transfer model that can be directly implemented at the U.S. NWP centers in their NWP models by including atmospheric and surface radiative transfer processes for all sky conditions, including clouds and precipitation.

Significance

  • Radiative transfer is the glue that connects satellite observations to atmospheric and surface variables of interest
  • This project's all-sky radiative transfer model will lead to improved predictions of clouds and precipitation, two weather conditions difficult to forecast

6. GOES Surface Ultraviolet Radiation

Objective

  • Develop a reliable surface ultraviolet irradiance product derived from GOES that will serve as a reference for the evaluation of the NWS UV Index forecast, and at the same time provide much needed data for research in the fields of climate, biology, agriculture, fishery, and industry.

Significance

  • This project is one of SMCD's initiatives to expand the use of satellite observations to assess and predict environmental hazards

7. Instrument Calibration

Objective

  • Provide calibration support for NOAA's satellite operations, which include both the polar-orbiting and geostationary systems, each has 2-3 spacecrafts in operation at any time, and each spacecraft has a number of instruments. To meet the operation continuity requirements, this project also provides calibration support for NOAA's satellite operations in the past and future.

Significance

  • Well calibrated instruments are the foundation of quantitative remote sensing.
  • This project will keep pace with the increasing demands of the weather, climate, and ocean sectors for well calibrated observations

8. Ozone

Objective

  • Produce high-quality operational and reprocessed ozone estimates from SBUV/2 and TOVS for use in numerical weather models, UV forecasts, ozone assessments and other studies.
  • Develop the systems to produce total ozone products from the start of GOME-2 operations and ozone profile products within one year after the start of operations, to incorporate GOME-2 products into our long-term monitoring ozone time series, and to produce new atmospheric chemistry products for ozone science and air quality applications.
  • Prepare for the OMPS instruments on NPP and NPOESS.
  • Assist the EOS Aura OMI Science Team in validating level 1 UV measurements and level 2 ozone products from OMI.
  • Obtain ozone estimates from the GOES Sounder and EOS AIRS instruments.

Significance

  • These ozone data will measure the rate of recovery of the ozone layer from the losses sustained by decades of CFC pollution
  • Ozone is a key contributor to the NWS UV forecasts

9. Precipitation and Floods

Objective

  • Improve the accuracy of satellite-based estimates of rainfall and to enhance their application by forecasters (both domestic and overseas) and other parties of interest such as the numerical weather modeling community.

Significance

  • More accurate rainfall estimates for hurricanes and severe storms will facilitate warnings and mitigation efforts in flood prone regions

10. Radiance Products and Atmospheric Soundings from Advanced Infrared and Microwave Sensors for Weather and Climate Applications

Objectives

  • Develop an integrated processing system for AIRS, CrIS and IASI which includes other instruments such as AMSU, Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) - which provides soundings in total overcast conditions and used in infrared clouding clearing, and MODIS and VIIRS (used to improve cloud detection and clearing).
  • Develop an improved cloud clearing scheme for obtaining clear radiances for AIRS.
  • Develop algorithms for deriving mixing ratios for carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) from AIRS.
  • Explore techniques for extracting information content of IASI's 8600 channels.
  • Evaluate expected accuracy and yield of IASI cloud cleared radiances and carbon-cycle products.
  • Explore the utility of imager data and/or forecast models to provide cloud clearing for the GOES-R infrared instrument. In this case of GOES-R, a microwave instrument is unlikely and the techniques that are explored for AIRS, IASI, and CrIS will be of fundamental value.

Significance

  • Exploitation of advanced IR and microwave sounders will extend the useful range of weather predictions and provide critical information on greenhouse gases associated with global climate change

11. Satellite Data Assimilation (JCSDA)

Objectives

  • Reduce from 2 to 1 year the time from launch to use of satellite data;
  • Increase the fraction of research and operational satellite data used in NWP;
  • Extend satellite data assimilation systems to other Environmental Prediction Models in the GEOSS era

Significance

  • The JCSDA's activities will lead to a 20 % increase in useful satellite lifetime and earlier implementation of new observing capabilities in numerical weather prediction

12. Snow Cover

Objectives

  • Improve snow cover boundary condition products for NWP
  • Validate and make operational 4-km GOES snow fraction product.
  • Validate and put into routine production snow depth product.
  • Develop MODIS climatology of maximum snow albedo for NWP models
  • Construct 39 year snow climatology (and NDVI) for the climate community.
  • Develop and describe method of removing the offset in the snow cover climate record introduced by the IMS system.
  • Derive snow water equivalent (from AMSU) and blend into the IMS.

Significance

  • Improved snow products will allow specification of more accurate boundary conditions in NWP and construction of a long-term CDR for snow

13. Vegetation

Objectives

  • Update the operational vegetation fraction algorithm after testing is completed by NWS/NCEP/EMC and CPC, and accommodate new sensors (e.g., MODIS, VIIRS) within the vegetation processing stream and associated reprocessing.
  • Improve NDVI and products derived from it (Global Vegetation Fraction - GVF, drought indices, etc)

Significance

  • Improved vegetation products will provide more accurate surface conditions for NWP models and drought monitoring

14. Winds

Objectives

  • Develop and maintain a robust, repeatable technology transition process that results in the timely and successful transition of new and/or updated product algorithms from the research and development environment to the operational production environment
  • Support transition of MODIS winds capability into NESDIS operational environment at OSDPD.
  • Perform quality assessment and error characterization of geo and leo satellite wind products
  • Improve and validate existing satellite derived wind product algorithms
  • Develop algorithms for future satellite systems, including GOES-R.

Significance

  • Winds are a critical part of the initial conditions for forecast models
  • MODIS winds represent a breakthrough in observing winds in polar regions

15. Earth Radiation Budget

Objective

  • Develop OLR retrieval algorithms from sounder channels (HIRS, AIRS, CRIS) to provide a time series of OLR compatible with the ERBS instrument on NPOESS. The new OLR estimates will be improved over what is now available from AVHRR.

Significance

  • The OLR is a major component of the Earth's Radiation Budget, which drives the atmospheric circulation.
  • This project will improve and continue the NOAA time series of OLR measurements going back to the 1970s, providing climatologists with a record of the Earth's heat balance in the age of global warming

16. GOES Sounder Products

Objectives

  • Develop an improved integrated GOES sounder product system that will provide the National Weather Service (NWS) with full resolution (approximately 10km x 10km) GOES sounder products for use in NWP and the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS).
  • Develop and maintain a robust, repeatable technology transition process that results in the timely and successful transition of new and/or updated product algorithms from the research and development environment to the operational production environment.
  • Prepare GOES sounder product system(s) for GOES-N and perform validation studies of GOES-N sounder radiance and derived products during the GOES-N science test.

Significance

  • High temporal GOES products are needed to monitor severe events such as tornadoes, thunderstorms, and hurricanes.
  • Resolving the diurnal cycle also contributes to climate studies.

17. POES Sounder Products

Objectives

  • Develop and maintain a robust, repeatable technology transition process that results in the timely and successful transition of new and/or updated product algorithms from the research and development environment to the operational production environment.
  • Support the transition of METOP, NOAA-NPP, and NPOESS sounding systems to operations.
  • Develop integrated validation systems for monitoring and assessing quality of sounder products from multiple sensors such as ATOVS, AIRS, IASI, CrIS, and GPS Radio Occultation.
  • Provide validation datasets to NOAA and external researchers.

Significance

  • Hyperspectral soundings from upcoming polar satellites will significantly improve medium range forecasts, as shown by the AIRS impact on NWP

Data, algorithms, and images presented on STAR websites are intended for experimental use only and are not supported on an operational basis.  More information

Level A conformance icon, W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 and Valid HTML 4.01 IconDept. of Commerce  •  NOAA  •  NESDIS  •  Website Owner: STAR  •  Contact webmaster  •  Last revised: October 27, 2015
Privacy Policy  •  Disclaimers  •  Information Quality  •  Accessibility  •  Search  •  Customer Survey
icon: valid HTML 4.01 transitional. Level A conformance icon, W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0