Techology Maturation Program: List of 2019 Projects

 

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Project Name: 3D Winds with track and European Space Agency (ESA) Aeolus

Project ID: TMP 18-01

Societal Benefit Areas:

Disaster Resilience
Routine Weather

Project Partners:

Description: Knowledge of wind speed and direction is critical for weather forecasting. The challenge is not just at the ground level, but throughout the whole atmosphere, at all altitudes worldwide. NOAA currently uses numerous direct wind measurements on the ground. These, however, are primarily taken over land masses. In addition, upper air wind speed can be inferred from satellites observing cloud motion. The European Space Agency's Atmosphere Dynamics Mission/Aeolus satellite, is capable of directly measuring clear air wind speed worldwide. This effort will help NOAA learn how to get the maximum possible value from this data.

Project Name: Project Management

Project ID: TMP 18-02

Societal Benefit Areas: None

Project Partners:

Description: This is a special task focused on tracking all other TMP activities and ensuring timely and accurate submission of required reports, etc.

Project Name: Radio Occultation (RO) Data Optimization

Project ID: TMP 18-04

Societal Benefit Areas:

Disaster Resilience
Climate Science
Weather Ready Nation

Project Partners:

Description: NOAA has found radio occultation (RO) data to be very useful, but our understanding of its potential is still limited. This effort will explore novel approaches to use this important data to derive even greater value. Specifically, the question is how to get useful RO data in the very lowest layers in the atmosphere now that new technology can enable this . If successful, NOAA and its partners will be able to derive significantly more value from these existing and planned systems.

Project Name: Enable Short-wavelength infrared (SW-IR) and Medium-Wavelength infrared (MW-IR) data use

Project ID: TMP 18-05

Societal Benefit Areas:

Disaster Resilience
Routine Weather

Project Partners:

Description: Satellite-based hyperspectral infrared (IR) data is critical to weather forecasting as it is one of the most impactful in numerical weather prediction. The IR spectrum can be split into three regions, shortwave (SW), midwave (MW) and longwave (LW). The LW is used for most weather forecasting, as it is the easiest to process. However, it is the most expensive and difficult to obtain. Scientists now think they can adequately process SW and MW data to provide forecast benefits like the LW data. The data processing will be somewhat difficult, but the cost and complexity of the satellite for SW and MW will be much simpler. If this strategy works, smallsat-based SW and MW IR data can replace existing very large and complicated satellite instruments.

Project Name: Evaluation of CubeSat Solutions to Nocturnal Low-Light Visible Observations

Project ID: TMP 18-08

Societal Benefit Areas:

Disaster Resilience
Weather Ready Nation

Project Partners:

Description: NOAA began monitoring cloud motion from satellite photos of cities illuminated at night and has been surprised to learn how much this information could impact weather forecasting. NOAA is only beginning to understand how to use this limited data to assist in optimal planning for future satellites.

Project Name: Exploit Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) sensor

Project ID: TMP 18-09

Societal Benefit Areas:

Climate Science
Aviation Weather
Routine Weather

Project Partners:

Description: The European Space Agency’s TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI), was launched in 2017 to collect satellite data about Earth’s atmosphere complementary to what we observe from NOAA’s platforms. For example, TROPOMI monitors, in high resolution, several trace gases in the atmosphere, such as ozone and methane. As a partner of the organization, this atmospheric data is shared freely with NOAA. This effort works to determine how to best access and use this free data to best benefit the United States.

Project Name: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning

Project ID: TMP 18-12

Societal Benefit Areas:

Disaster Resilience
Routine Weather
Weather Ready Nation

Project Partners:

Description: NOAA has a workforce of highly skilled forecasters who utilize some of the best weather prediction models in the world. However, it is the right time to upgrade forecasting tools and leverage the power of artificial intelligence (AI). Modern machines are able to spot patterns quickly and draw specific connections that might elude human experts. If machines can issue alerts at a quicker rate, a human expert can review the facts and issue faster weather products. This efficient upgrade can potentially save lives and property.

Project Name: Maturity of Reflectometry Phase Delay Altimetry

Project ID: TMP 18-16

Societal Benefit Areas:

Weather Ready Nation

Project Partners:

Description: The Global Positioning System (GPS) has been a global benefit in so many ways. This study will investigate if the data we receive from the reflections of GPS signals off of the surface of Earth’s oceans can be collected in a more cost-effective manner. Initial work will focus on ocean winds and contours, while later efforts will explore options over the land. Ultimately, this study will determine if this reflected data meets NOAA’s operational needs. This study differs from project #15 by using an alternative space instrument.

Project Name: Exploiting Cubesat Ocean Color Data

Project ID: TMP 18-18

Societal Benefit Areas:

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Sustainability
Ecosystems Monitoring
Healthy Ocean Science

Project Partners:

Description: Water Color provides essential data about the health of the Earth’s oceans to scientists. The University of North Carolina-Wilmington is launching Seahawk, a small nanosatellite (cubesat), which is designed to collect ocean color data and provide sustained ocean color observations. In this study, NOAA will examine SeaHawk data to see if it meets NOAA’s data quality needs.

Project Name: Maturing the exploitation of satellite data from Tundra–like platforms

Project ID: TMP 18-19

Societal Benefit Areas:

Weather Ready Nation

Project Partners:

Description: Most NOAA satellites are either Low Earth Orbit (LEO) or Geostationary orbits (GEO). Both satellite classifications provide different but essential forms of data collection for NOAA. LEO satellites are constantly orbiting the Earth providing the ability to monitor the far northern and southern regions of the world but do so periodically as they only see these regions once every orbit. GEO satellites monitor evolving weather events in real time and provide essential data but only over the hemisphere or region they are stationed above. As a result, remote areas such as Alaska and surrounding polar regions get spotty coverage. A Tundra orbit, however, is an egg-shaped orbit, where the satellite hovers most of the day observing the polar regions. For a brief period each day, these satellites descend close to Earth before ascending back up. This intriguing orbit produces much better coverage of polar regions but the observation characterics, unlike GEO, are not stable, making data interpretation and processing challenging, This study will determine how complicated Tundra data will be for NOAA to use.

Project Name: Advance Mid-wavelength Infrared (MWIR) maturity

Project ID: TMP 18-20

Weather Ready Nation

Project Partners: NASA/JPL - Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Description: Planned 2020 MWIR work to compete the project study includes:

  • In 2020, JPL plans to complete both the optics and mechanical packaging demonstration. JPL also plans to complete the build and (partial) TVAC testing of an integrated Electrical-Mechanical-Optical system (~Engineering Model). Note that the OPPA director has waived the 6U form-factor “requirement”. It is further anticipated that this work will wrap up by the end of the fiscal year.

Project Name: Light Detection & Ranging (LIDAR) Working Group

Project ID: TMP 18-23

Infrastructure & Transport Mgt
Weather Ready Nation

Project Partners: NOAA/AOML - Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory

Description: Wind speed and direction are vital to forecasting weather that can be difficult to obtain. A technique called LIght Detection And Ranging (LIDAR) holds promise in attempts to gain this information. This effort ensures that NOAA stays well connected with the international LIDAR community. This is particularly important as Europe recently launched the first wind LIDAR satellite.

Project Name: Design Study for Day-Night Band (DNB) smallsat

Project ID: TMP 18-25

Societal Benefit Areas:

Weather Ready Nation

Project Partners:

Description: Nighttime light imaging (Day-Night Band) is a very useful type of data. NOAA currently has this data capability on its large Joint Polar Satellite System, as part of the “VIIRS” instrument. However, several of NOAA’s European partners have instruments that lack this nighttime lights capability. In an effort to reduce costs, NOAA wants to investigate whether the nighttime light imaging can be produced from a cubesat instead of a traditional large-scale satellite. Cubesats have already produced impressive nighttime imaging and can be built and launched in a more efficient fashion. This effort could also improve data performance to meet NOAA’s needs.

Project Name: Solar Sail

Project ID: TMP 18-26

Societal Benefit Areas:

Space Weather
Weather Ready Nation

Project Partners:

Description: The NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) is responsible for advising airlines, power companies, and other affiliates of anticipated solar events with a likelihood of impacting operations on the Earth. For this service, solar and solar wind observations are taken from a location about 1 million miles from Earth, where the gravity pull between the sun and Earth is relatively equal. Stationkeeping (maintaining the right spot) can take a lot of fuel but a solar sail can “sail” in the solar wind and dramatically cut fuel use as well as enable stable stationkeeping closer to the sun, thereby allowing earlier warnings of severe events in the solar wind. This study is assessing how that might work for NOAA’s future sun-watching spacecraft.

Project Name: Geostationary Infrared Hyperspectral Sounder Ground Processing System Study

Project ID: TMP 19-07

Societal Benefit Areas:

Weather Ready Nation

Project Partners:

Description: Several studies have investigated the potential of hyperspectral infrared soundings collected from geostationary orbit to our forecasting and nowcasting capabilities. As part of NOAA’s future space architecture, it is important to also develop independent government cost estimates for the reception, processing, and distribution of such data in a ground management system. This project will first simulate geostationary hyperspectral data from the NOAA Cross-Track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) sensor, and model the data rates and ground processing requirements. Then this information will be used to develop cost estimates from software lines of code (SLOC) and required development efforts. SLOC is a metric used to measure the size of a computer program by counting the number of lines in the text of the programs source code. It is typically used to predict the amount of effort required to develop a program, as well as estimate program productivity and maintainability once produced.

Project Name: Exploiting CYGNSS for land application

Project ID: TMP 19-08

Societal Benefit Areas:

Disaster Resilience
Hydrology

Project Partners:

Description: This effort will investigate Global Navigation Satellite System - Reflectometry (GNSS-R) sensitivity to infer flood inundation and soil moisture from the NASA Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) to exploit the increasing number of GNSS satellites for potential land applications.

Project Name: Assessment of Value and Impact: OSSE for GEO Hyperspectral IR

Project ID: TMP 19-09

Societal Benefit Areas:

Infrastructure & Transport Mgt
Weather Ready Nation

Project Partners:

Description: This project investigates the value to NOAA of hosting a geostationary hyperspectral infrared sounder over the GOES-East and GOES-West domains, supporting the study for the next generation space architecture for environmental observation.



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