IntroductionA. E. "Sandy" MacDonald
The Forecast Systems Laboratory (FSL) conducts research and develops and transfers new technologies and scientific advancements to the operational elements of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other operational organizations. The mission of FSL is to facilitate the transfer of technological developments in atmospheric and oceanic research to the nation's operational atmospheric and oceanic services. This involves conducting a program to integrate, evaluate, and apply developments to information and forecast systems. The essential functions of the laboratory include:
Research Applications – Utilize research advances in the understanding of atmospheric and oceanic processes to develop improved data analyses, information management techniques, and forecast systems and methods (such as interpretive algorithms, conceptual and numerical models, climatological methods and statistical techniques), and analysis and assimilation of extensive four-dimensional geophysical datasets in operational forecast models to optimally employ the data sources under development within NOAA.
System Validation – Use real-time and archived data to test and evaluate new diagnostic and forecast techniques and to determine the strengths and weaknesses in the research and techniques.
Technology Transfer – Facilitate the transfer of new techniques and systems to operational use through direct interaction with the users.
The research and development that addresses these functions is conducted in
Systems Development Division
These laboratory programs employ scientists from two Environmental Research Laboratories' cooperative institutes: the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), Boulder, Colorado, and the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), Fort Collins, Colorado. In addition, postdoctoral scientists are under contract through the National Research Council (NRC), Washington, D.C., and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder.
Support for computer operations, computer systems administration, computer hardware and software maintenance, system analysis and design, systems research and development, and meteorological research and development are provided by commercial service contractors: Gonzales Consulting Services, Inc., and System Technology Associates, Inc. The administrative activities are managed by the Director of Administration and Research.