1st NOAA Testbed USWRP Workshop

[For related information, visit the NOAA Testbeds & Proving Grounds Portal]


Dates:   28-29 April 2009
Location: NOAA
David Skaggs Research Center
Room GC402
325 Broadway
Boulder, CO 80305

What: The workshop will focus on NOAA testbed efforts; building connections, synergies, and collaborations.

Why: This workshop, directed towards enhancing communication across NOAA tesbed efforts, is an important opportunity to exchange information and best-practices on the wide variety of testbed projects including those from the Joint Hurricane Testbed (JHT), the HydroMeteorological Testbed (HMT), Collaborative Science, Technology, & Applied Research (CSTAR), the Societal Impacts Program (SIP), the Development Testbed Center (DTC), as well as, other relevant efforts seeded by USWRP and ones on the horizon.

Workshop Goals:

  • Communicate results, ideas, and future directions for testbeds partly sponsored by NOAA USWRP
  • Identify best practices and collaborations that could be fostered across testbed efforts
  • Understand and discuss improvements towards achieving our testbed goals
  • Explore societal impact studies and linkages to testbed activities and goals

Contact: If you would like additional information or have questions, please contact Janet Intrieri.


Workshop Summary

The NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory hosted the 1st NOAA Testbed U.S. Weather Research Program (USWRP) Workshop on April 28-29, 2009 in Boulder, CO. Sixty-five participants exchanged information and experiences, including challenges, best-practices and issues on a wide variety of testbed projects, especially those from the Joint Hurricane Testbed (JHT), the Hydrometeorology Testbed (HMT), and the Development Testbed Center (DTC), which are directly supported by USWRP. In addition, societal impacts related efforts (Societal Impacts Program) and the Collaborative Science, Technology, & Applied Research (CSTAR) programs were also discussed in depth. Overviews of additional relevant testbeds provided further input and discussion, including the Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation (JCSDA) and Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center (SPoRT, both of which were seeded earlier by USWRP, as well as the Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT) and Goes-R Proving Ground. The workshop was a major success resulting in the following outcomes or next steps:

  • Convene a similar, but expanded, workshop at ESRL at the same time next year.
  • Create a Quarterly "NOAA Testbed News" newsletter (idea was approved by the NOAA USWRP Executive Committee in a follow-on meeting).
  • Leaders of the testbeds represented agreed to join together to prepare an overview paper for BAMS describing the emergence and diversity of testbeds.
  • Some participants attended with the goal of learning about successes and challenges as they consider establishing testbeds in their particular mission areas.
  • Several topics were identified for further consideration or inclusion in the NWS S&T Roadmap planning.

Testbeds have become a key strategy in NOAA to link research and operations in the Weather & Water Mission Goal, particularly in the Science, Technology & Infusion Program. Some of this development has been aided by the USWRP over the last 10 years. It has recently become apparent that each Testbed has developed its particular approach and emphases, and that the people involved were interested in learning about lessons from other Testbeds.

This Workshop was the first-ever meeting of multiple weather-focused NOAA Testbeds, and brought together leaders and technical experts from OAR, NWS, NESDIS, NCAR, the academic community and others. It was a unique opportunity to share the diverse approaches that have been employed, from redirection and funding of NOAA laboratory efforts to grants programs, to dedicated field programs and modeling efforts. Many approaches to testing and transition of results to operations were presented, and pitfalls discussed. These included descriptions of the impacts on operations, impacts on research and intangible aspects. It also highlighted the challenges of linking the Testbed activities and results to major infrastructure decisions in NOAA. Linkages across testbeds and coordination between them on focused projects of mutual interest were recommended.

The ability of testbeds to develop a mission-focused set of research efforts and transition targets was recognized, including the focus on existing weather service Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) measures and development of new performance measures. The ability of testbeds to connect to the forecast user community and to document societal needs was recognized, and is a source of emerging mission requirements.