Summaries of Previous Workshops

8th NOAA Testbed and Proving Ground Workshop

7th NOAA Testbed and Proving Ground Workshop

6th NOAA Testbed and Proving Ground Workshop

5th NOAA Testbed and Proving Ground Workshop

4th NOAA Testbed and Proving Ground Workshop

3rd NOAA Testbed and Proving Ground Workshop

2nd NOAA Testbed Workshop

The NOAA USWRP Executive Committee (NUEC) hosted the 2nd NOAA Testbed Workshop at the Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) from 4-5 May 2010 in Boulder, CO. The workshop brought together 80 experts from testbeds to compare experiences and lessons learned. There is no other such meeting of people who have helped build testbeds over the last several years. This workshop was an important opportunity for a wide variety of testbed projects to build cross-testbed collaborations and exchange information, lessons-learned, and best practices. Participants included researchers from across NOAA, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and NASA; representing the Joint Hurricane Testbed (JHT), Hydrometeorology Testbed (HMT), Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT), Developmental Testbed Center (DTC), Climate Testbed (CTB), Societal Impacts Program (SIP), and the Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center (SPoRT).

There was a consensus that the workshop was useful to participants, and that they would take back best practices to help manage and optimize the efforts in their respective testbeds. Most important was the recommendation that results from multiple testbeds have implications for future NOAA planning regarding major observing system investments, and that these results should be considered in future planning.

The workshop also provided a unique opportunity to share a wide range of approaches and experiences for transitioning new methods or tools into forecast operations based on individual testbed needs. Workshop participants were in favor of holding another workshop next year that will focus on generating input for NOAA's out-year planning process. In addition, new collaborations were formed across Testbeds, such as between HMT and SPoRT, and new awareness of the potential for the ALPS Workstations to help with AWIPS-like product testing, was realized. Another outcome of the meeting was a recommendation to create a simple "Testbed Portal" web site where brief descriptions of the key NOAA-focused testbeds could be found, as well as links to each Testbed's home page. This portal is now live on the USWRP web page.

1st NOAA Testbed USWRP Workshop

The NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory hosted the 1st NOAA Testbed U.S. Weather Research Program (USWRP) Workshop on 28-29 April 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.