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Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR). STAR’s Mission.

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star s mission
STAR’s Mission
  • STAR transfers state‑of‑the-art satellite observations of the land, atmosphere, ocean, and climate from scientific research and development into routine operations, and offers data, products, and services to decision-makers.
star activities
STAR Activities
  • STAR is engaged in product development, readiness, and applications with respect to satellites and satellite data
  • STAR’s responsibilities include:
    • Developing algorithms and prototype software systems that are transitioned into the production of operational environmental satellite products
    • Monitoring and improving instrument calibration
    • Validating and analyzing products for weather and climate applications
    • Overseeing the development of future satellite instruments
  • STAR utilizes collaborative environments for product development
    • Faster research to operations
    • Interconnectivity across multiple satellite programs and NOAA offices
star s focus
STAR’s Focus
  • STAR’s Divisions and Programs use satellite technology to ensure NOAA achieves its Goals
  • STAR builds from knowledge of past and present satellite sensors, algorithms, processing systems, and calibration/validation techniques to advance future science capabilities and expand upon remote sensing applications to the benefit of all society
organization chart
Organization Chart

Satellite

Oceanography &

Climatology Division

Satellite

Meteorology &

Climatology Division

Cooperative

Research

Program Division

Advanced Satellite

Products

Branch

Environmental

Monitoring &

Climate Branch

Ocean Dynamics &

Data Assimilation

Branch

Satellite

Climate

Studies Branch

Regional & Mesoscale

Meteorology

Branch

Marine

Ecosystems &

Climate Branch

Cooperative Institute

for Research

In the Atmosphere

(CIRA)

Sensor

Physics

Branch

Cooperative Institute

for Meteorological

Satellite Studies

(CIMSS)

Cooperative Institute

For

Climate Studies

(CICS)

Satellite Ocean

Sensors

Branch

Operational Products

Development

Branch

Cooperative Institute

for Oceanographic

Satellite Studies

(CIOSS)

Cooperative Remote

Sensing Science &

Technology Center

(CREST)

Director

Senior

Scientist

Technical

Support

Deputy

Director

satellite meteorology and climatology division
Satellite Meteorology and Climatology Division
  • Mission: To provide research on the use of satellite data for monitoring meteorological, climatological and environmental characteristics
  • Operational Products Development: Soundings, derived products, product improvements, aviation, synoptic research
  • Sensor Physics: Sensor calibration, validation, trace gas retrievals, new satellite instrument development
  • Environmental Monitoring and Climate: Detection and long term data sets of: Vegetation, cloud cover, snow cover, precipitation, ozone, etc.
satellite oceanography and climate division
Satellite Oceanography and Climate Division
  • Mission: To provide the primary research and development support for oceanic remote sensing within NOAA
  • Ocean Sensors: Ocean Color, Ocean Surface Winds, Sea Surface Temperature, Satellite Altimetry
  • Marine Ecosystems and Climate: Sea Ice, Coral Reef Bleaching
  • Ocean Dynamics and Data Assimilation: Surface Currents, Sea Floor Topography
cooperative research program division
Cooperative Research Program Division
  • Cooperative Research Programs develop and improve methods for the remote sensing of satellite data, make assessments of the accuracy of satellite observations and derived products, transfer technology to operations, and provide science support, training, and outreach
    • Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS)
    • Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA)
    • Cooperative Institute for Climate Studies (CICS)
    • Cooperative Institute for Oceanographic Studies (CIOSS)
    • Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology Center (CREST)
cooperative institute research themes
Cooperative Institute Research Themes
  • CIOSS: CI for Oceanographic Satellite Studies
  • Satellite Sensors and Techniques
  • Ocean-Atmosphere Fields and Fluxes
  • Ocean-Atmosphere Models and Data Assimilation
  • Ocean-Atmosphere Analyses
  • Outreach, Education, and Training
  • CICS: CI for Climate Studies
  • Global Energy and Water Cycle
  • Climate Diagnostics and Prediction
  • Atmospheric Chemistry
  • CIMSS: CI for Meteorological Satellite Studies
  • Weather Nowcasting and Forecasting
  • Clouds and Radiation
  • Global Hydrological Cycle
  • Environmental Trends
  • Climate
  • CIRA: CI for Research in the Atmosphere
  • Global and Regional Climate Studies
  • Local and Mesoscale Area Weather Forecasting and Evaluation
  • Cloud Physics
  • Applications of Satellite Observations
  • Air Quality and Visibility
  • Societal and Economic Impacts
  • Crosscutting Research: Numerical Modeling
  • Crosscutting Research: Education, Training, and Outreach
  • CREST: Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology Center
  • Sensor Development
  • Ground-based Field Measurements
  • Satellite Remote Sensing
  • Data Processing and Analysis
  • Modeling
  • Forecasting
cooperative institute for meteorological satellite studies cimss
Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS)
  • Mission: International center for research on the interpretation and uses of operational and experimental satellite observations and remote sensing data acquired from aircraft and the ground
  • Focus and research areas: Satellite data product development; satellite data processing techniques; new remote sensing instrumentation and applications; satellite data assimilation studies; satellite data collection and archive; training and outreach; transition of new technology into operational practice; weather nowcasting and forecasting; aviation weather; clouds and radiation; global hydrological cycle; and environmental trends and climate
cooperative institute for research in the atmosphere cira
Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA)
  • Mission: To increase the effectiveness of atmospheric research of mutual interest to NOAA, Colorado State University, the state of Colorado, and the nation
  • Focus and research areas: Global and regional climate studies; local and mesoscale area weather; forecasting and evaluation; cloud physics; applications of satellite observations; air quality and visibility; societal and economic impacts; regional and local numerical modeling; crosscutting research; education, training and outreach
cooperative institute for climate studies cics
Cooperative Institute for Climate Studies (CICS)
  • Mission: To provide collaborative research between NOAA and the University of Maryland in studies of satellite climatology, climate diagnostics, modeling and prediction
  • Focus and research areas: Climate variability and change; atmospheric composition and processes; the global carbon cycle; the global water cycle; remote sensing research and development; in situ measurement research and development; analysis of remotely sensed, in situ, and model generated data; data assimilation studies; data collection and archival
cooperative institute for oceanographic studies cioss
Cooperative Institute for Oceanographic Studies (CIOSS)
  • Mission: To develop, improve and evaluate methods of ocean remote sensing and ocean-atmosphere modeling
  • Focus and research areas: Basic research in ocean, atmosphere, and marine ecosystem dynamics; applications of basic research to the management of living and non-living resources within the coastal and open oceans; contributions to ocean observing and modeling systems through the evaluation of plans for future satellite systems and models; satellite sensors and techniques; ocean-atmosphere fields and fluxes; ocean-atmosphere models and data assimilation; ocean-atmosphere analyses; outreach
cooperative remote sensing and technology center crest
Cooperative Remote Sensing and Technology Center (CREST)
  • Mission: To conduct research consistent with NOAA's missions of environmental assessment, prediction, and environmental stewardship
  • Focus and research areas: Sensor development; ground-based field measurements; satellite remote sensing; data processing and analysis; modeling; forecasting; training
noaa mission goal support examples
NOAA Mission Goal Support Examples

Climate:

Total Ozone Analysis

Weather and Water:

High Density Winds

Ecosystems:

Coral Reef Bleaching

Commerce and Transportation:

Volcanic Ash Imagery

research to operations science applications
Research to Operations Science Applications

Ocean

Surface

Currents

Non-NOAA

Research

Jason-1, TOPEX/Poseidon

Future

Operational

Jason-2

Hyperspectral

Soundings

Non-NOAA Research

AIRS

Future Operational

Metop IASI

NPOESS CrIS

GOES-R HES

Ocean Color

Non-NOAA

Research

SeaWiFS, MODIS

Future

Operational

NPOESS VIIRS

noaa s environmental satellite system
NOAA’s Environmental Satellite System

Barrow, AK

Fairbanks, AK

Suitland, Greenbelt &

Camp Springs, MD

Wallops Is, VA

5:30 A.M. DMSP F13

10:30 A.M. NOAA 17

9:30 A.M. DMSP F15

2:00 P.M. NOAA 18

GOES - 12 (75W)

GOES – 10 (135W)

GOES on Orbit Storage

slide19

Continuity of Operational Satellite Programs

NOAA Satellite Launches* Scheduled to Maintain Continuity

2004

2005

2006

2007

2013

2014

2016

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2015

2017

2018

2019

2020

GOES 10

GOES West

GOES 11 (stored in orbit)

GOES East

GOES 12

GOES N

GOES O

GOES P

NOAA 16 (PM)

GOES R***

NOAA 17 (AM)

GOES S***

NOAA 18 (PM)

NOAA N’ (PM)

1st Metop (AM)

** European

Coordination

2nd Metop

3rd Metop

Jason 2/OSTM

NPOESS C1 (mid-AM)

NPOESS C2 (PM)

NPOESS C3 (AM)

NPOESS C4 (mid-AM)

NPOESS C5 (PM)

NPOESS C6 (AM)

* Actual launch dates are determined by the failure of on-orbit assets

Satellite is operational beyond design life

** Assumes METOP will provide the morning orbit and NOAA-N’ will provide

afternoon orbit instruments

On-orbit GOES storage

19

*** GOES R-Series may be single or suite of satellites (distributed constellation)

Extended operation

support to existing observing systems
Support to Existing Observing Systems
  • Calibration and validation across systems
  • Pre-launch and post-launch support
  • Data quality and algorithm improvement

Intersatellite

Calibration

Instrument

Calibration

In-Situ Systems

Product Validation

support to future observing systems
Support to Future Observing Systems

GOES-R and NPOESS are the next generation of environmental satellites. STAR’s work will ensure data continuity and advanced products to the benefit of all users

  • STAR scientists provide services to ensure accurate instrument data and algorithms from future sensors, involving
    • calibration and validation
    • algorithm development
    • instrument performance specifications

For

    • Metop Instrument Functional Chain Teams (IFCT)
    • NPOESS Operational Algorithm Teams (OAT)
    • GOES-R Algorithm Working Group and Risk Reduction Plan
  • Risk Reduction applied to acquisition programs, quasi-operational data use from non-NOAA satellites
  • Developing data reduction techniques for user assimilation of hyperspectral data and climate data records
slide23

Aqua

Metop

Cloudsat

CALIPSO

GRACE

TOPEX

TRMM

GIFTS

Meteor/

SAGE

NOAA/POES

Landsat

GOES

MTSAT

SeaWiFS

Jason

Aura

MSG

SORCE

ICESat

Terra

joint center for satellite data assimilation
Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation
  • Mission: To accelerate and improve the quantitative use of research and operational satellite data in weather and climate prediction models
  • STAR staff members serve alongside people from NASA, NWS, DoD, and International agencies
    • Serve as technical liaisons that represent STAR, review proposals, project progress, and interact with principal investigators
    • Scientific Steering Committee provides scientific guidance to JCSDA Director
  • STAR provides JCSDA data sets, data uncertainties, physics, and algorithms used to obtain retrievals
satellite data used in nwp
HIRS Sounder Radiances

AMSU-A Sounder Radiances

AMSU-B Sounder Radiances

MHS Sounder Radiances

GOES Sounder Radiances

GOES, Meteosat, GMS winds

GOES Precipitable Water

SSM/I Ocean Surface Wind Speeds

SSM/I Precipitable Water

ERS-2 Ocean Surface Wind Vectors

QuikSCAT Ocean Surface Wind Vectors

AVHRR Sea Surface Temperature

AVHRR Vegetation Fraction

AVHRR Surface Type

Multi-satellite Snow Cover

Multi-satellite Sea Ice

SBUV/2 Ozone Profile and Total Ozone

Altimeter Sea Level Observations (Ocean Data Assimilation)

Satellite Data used in NWP
slide26

JCSDA Road Map (2002 - 2010)

By 2010, a numerical weather prediction community will be empowered to effectively assimilate increasing amounts of advanced satellite observations

The radiances can be assimilated under all conditions with the state-of-the science NWP models

Resources:

NPOESS sensors (CMIS, ATMS…)

GIFTS, GOES-R

OK

Deficiency

Advanced JCSDA community-based radiative transfer model,

Advanced data thinning techniques

The CRTM include cloud, precipitation, scattering

The radiances from advanced sounders will be used. Cloudy radiances will be tested under rain-free atmospheres, more products (ozone, water vapor winds)

AIRS, ATMS, CrIS, VIIRS, IASI, SSM/IS, AMSR, more products assimilated

Science Advance

A beta version of JCSDA community-based radiative transfer model (CRTM) transfer model will be developed, including non-raining clouds, snow and sea ice surface conditions

Improved JCSDA data assimilation science

The radiances of satellite sounding channels were assimilated into EMC global model under only clear atmospheric conditions. Some satellite surface products (SST, GVI and snow cover, wind) were used in EMC models

AMSU, HIRS, SSM/I, QuikSCAT,

AVHRR, TMI, GOES assimilated

Pre-JCSDA data assimilation science

Radiative transfer model, OPTRAN, ocean microwave emissivity, microwave land emissivity model, and GFS data assimilation system were developed

2002

2003

2008

2009

2010

2004

2005

2007

ocean remote sensing
Ocean Remote Sensing
  • Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS): A coordinated national and international network of observations and data transmission, data management and communications, and data analysis and modeling; the US contribution to the Global Ocean Observing System
  • STAR contributes the satellite component of the IOOS National Backbone, and integrates and provides operational ocean remote sensing and in-situ observational data, products, and information
    • Sea surface temperature, sea surface height, sea surface roughness, ocean color, ocean surface winds, and sea ice
ocean research to operations
Ocean Research to Operations
  • Ocean research encompasses end-to-end science from satellite ocean sensor development and observation retrieval through observable ocean parameters
  • Research to operations accomplishments include coral reef bleaching, ocean surface wind vectors, and sea surface temperature anomalies
  • Research in altimetry, scatterometry, and ocean color will be transitioned to NOAA operations in future satellite missions for fulfillment of user requirements
  • CoastWatch/OceanWatch provides and ensures timely access to near real-time satellite data and is the vehicle for transitioning developmental satellite ocean remote sensing processes and products to operations

Technology

Development

Product

Enhancements

Product &

Algorithm

Development

Operational

Support

User Feedback

global earth observation system of systems geoss
Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS)
  • Multi-nation initiative to establish a comprehensive, coordinated, and sustained earth observation system
    • National and international satellite systems and instruments from both research and operational agencies will be integrated in GEOSS
    • STAR’s participation in GEOSS provides a significant societal benefit to all nations
integrated observing systems
Integrated Observing Systems
  • STAR is on the cutting edge of creating integrated data products from stovepipe systems
  • Knowledge will be applied to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS)

Integrated Products

Radiosonde

Data

Geostationary

Satellite Data

Buoy

Data

Polar-orbiting

Satellite Data

Radar

Data

collaborative programs
Collaborative Programs
  • Coral Reef Watch: Uses satellite remote sensing and in-situ tools for near real-time and long-term monitoring, modeling, and reporting of the conditions of coral reef ecosystems. STAR detects and assesses environmental conditions that are likely to indicate coral bleaching.
  • Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX): Component of the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) and an integrated program of research, observations, science activities. STAR and its partners provide radiation budget products.
  • Climate Change Science Program: National program for climate and global change in which NOAA is the lead federal agency. STAR develops products for climate studies, including continuity of data records as NOAA transitions to new satellites and sensors, development and improvement of algorithms to reprocess existing data sets, and merging of diverse data sets.
societal benefits
Societal Benefits
  • STAR’s scientific research and development of satellite data are vital to the well-being of society and Earth’s natural resources
  • STAR’s research and development can be applied for
    • More accurate climate prediction
    • More accurate weather and ocean forecasting, which saves lives, protects property,
    • Facilitation of search and rescue operations
    • Support of safe air, sea, and land transportation,
    • Allowing for an economic benefit
societal benefits1
Societal Benefits

Sea nettles are stinging jellyfish that can deliver lethal injections to small prey and cause mild to severe skin irritation in humans. They infest the Chesapeake Bay during the summer months, affecting commerce and recreation activities.

STAR developed the computer model that uses satellite data to identify areas with conditions that sea nettles prefer to predict where they are likely to occur. STAR generates sea nettle prediction maps to determine areas of probable safe water.

NOAA Mission Goals:

Ecosystems

Commerce and Transportation

societal benefits2
Societal Benefits

It costs an estimated $1 million per mile of coastline for evacuation and preparedness for landfalling hurricanes.

STAR provides advances in data assimilation techniques and continued research that improves tropical cyclone track forecasts.

NOAA Mission Goals:

Weather and Water

societal benefits3
Societal Benefits

Volcanic ash can cause severe damage to airplane engines, possibly resulting in engine failure. The overall economic risk from airborne volcanic ash is about $70 million per year.

STAR improves upon the detection of volcanic ash using satellite data to provide safer air travel following an eruption.

NOAA Mission Goals:

Weather and Water

Commerce and Transportation Climate

societal benefits4
Societal Benefits

As ocean and surface temperatures change, the coverage of sea ice can change drastically over a short period of time. The lack of information on the changes in sea ice or fresh water ice boundaries or the locations of icebergs on the open seas could lead to disastrous accidents.

STAR uses remote sensing data to develop and validate sea ice products, particularly useful to the shipping and maritime communities.

NOAA Mission Goals:

Weather and Water

Commerce and Transportation

Climate

societal benefits5
Societal Benefits

Floods account for $5.2 billion and average over 80 deaths per year.

STAR provides satellite products for analyzing and predicting heavy precipitation events and flooding from snowmelt.

NOAA Mission Goals:

Weather and Water

Climate

societal benefits6
Societal Benefits

Average annual drought losses in the U.S. are estimated at $6-8 billion.

STAR’s satellite measurements of vegetation health, moisture, and thermal conditions show an early indication of drought development and allows for monitoring of drought impacts, including fire risk and agricultural production.

NOAA Mission Goals:

Weather and Water

Climate

societal benefits7
Societal Benefits

El Niño events affect the global weather and climate and impact many aspects of the nation’s economy, including energy, agriculture, water management, and fisheries.

STAR assesses El Niño events by analyzing global sea surface temperature anomalies and distributions of precipitation.

NOAA Mission Goals:

Weather and Water

Climate

Ecosystems

Commerce and Transportation

societal benefits8
Societal Benefits

The assimilation of polar tropospheric wind data in numerical weather prediction models has been shown to improve model forecasts for the Northern and Southern Hemisphere extratropics. Weather forecasts for the Arctic, Antarctic, and the entire Northern Hemisphere can be extended by 2-6 hours, depending on the location.

STAR developed algorithms for determining the motion of clouds and water vapor features and generates real-time atmospheric wind vectors for both polar regions.

Mission Goal:

Weather and Water

star s future challenges
STAR’s Future Challenges
  • New satellites sensors, both domestic and international, will create new challenges for STAR
    • Continuity of past, present, and future data for climate data records, calibration accuracy, stability of satellite sensors, reprocessing and analysis of long-term series for reproducible results
    • Data assimilation methodologies for weather, climate, and oceans
    • Hyperspectral technology applied to radiative transfer models and interpretation of spectral signatures
    • New applications from advanced sensors, including water and air quality, trace gas monitoring, and coastal and ocean forecasts
  • Generating blended products and multi-disciplinary algorithm development in support of GEOSS
  • Working in a collaborative environment as new operational and research satellite data becomes available