Extended Range Forecasting and Advanced Climate Applications Decision Support System
Navy SBIR 2014.2 - Topic N142-121
ONR - Ms. Lore-Anne Ponirakis - loreanne.ponirakis@navy.mil
Opens: May 23, 2014 - Closes: June 25, 2014

N142-121 TITLE: Extended Range Forecasting and Advanced Climate Applications Decision Support System

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Battlespace

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMW-120, Future MetOc Capabilities (FMC), non-ACAT

OBJECTIVE: Develop a software suite which would allow DoD mission planners to access, manipulate, display, and save extended range (intra-seasonal to inter-annual) probabilistic environmental prediction graphical products from a distributed Federal data service through a fast, flexible, and IA-compliant web service.

DESCRIPTION: Almost all mission analysis and planning tools in the DoD rely heavily on short range (0-7 days) explicit deterministic forecasts of environmental conditions and/or long term statistical climate products (for example, weekly, monthly, or seasonal averages of multi-decadal observations for a region or city/airfield/port based on data from observations or re-analyses, such as the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR)). Dynamical and statistical extended range predictions, at leads of a week to several seasons, are now routinely available from a number of organizations and are used operationally by NOAA, as well as several foreign weather offices, such as the European Union and the United Kingdom. US federal agencies, including DoD, have access to many of these extended range forecasts, as well as related products (e.g., conditional probabilities, hindcast results, skill metrics and masks). But the forecast and related product datasets are massive and provided in diverse formats that are not well suited for DoD use, especially for use in decision support tools applicable to DoD mission planning.

The objective of this topic is to develop software tools that allow DoD climate and seasonal forecasters to develop decision support products from sub-seasonal to seasonal ensemble numerical forecast guidance in a timely (minutes to hours) and work flow efficient manner without requiring download and user-side manipulation of local copies of the source datasets. The staff for this project would work with operational planning staffs and their meteorological and oceanographic (METOC) support centers to develop data processing, analysis, and visualization tools that can work in the Navy Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) system and across networks and suitably display large, Geographic Information System (GIS)-enabled datasets that include assessment of risk and probability. This software suite would provide new capability into the current Navy Advanced Climate Analysis and Forecast (ACAF) program at the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center. ACAF is a web-enabled visualization tool that currently creates conditional probability and decision support products from interfacing with multiple static climate observational and reanalysis databases. These tools would be used to conduct server-side calculations on multiple gridded extended range prediction fields and pass the results (derived fields, visualizations, and decision support products) back to the user in a rapid, low-bandwidth, and computationally efficient manner. These results would need to be compatible with both image display formats (jpg, png, etc.), as well as Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)-compliant GIS services (ARCview, shape files, KML, etc.). The tools would need to be capable of rapidly and efficiently processing server side data volumes on the order of tens of terabytes to 1 petabyte per month.

PHASE I: The offeror will:
- Define and develop a systematic and consistent software engineering approach for the data analysis/visualization, data processing, and product generation tools.
- Evaluate alternative approaches and explain the rationale for further development of a particular approach to include: data format compatibility with the available datasets, software and computing requirements on the client end, compatibility with Navy Information Assurance and computing environment policies and constraints, and compatibility with the Navy’s planned Fleet Capability Releases between 2015 and 2020.
- Provide a detailed bandwidth, data storage, and user-side computational capacity budget estimate.
- Provide a detailed description of the server-side and client-side data and software interfaces.

PHASE II: The offeror will produce a prototype software suite that is compatible with the Navy’s ACAF software environment at FNMOC or at the Naval Postgraduate School and has secure access to the Phase II National Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) server at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
- This will be an all-up system that can use real data for initial products, such as extended range forecasts of environmental conditions and associated anomalies, extremes, percentile extremes, and conditional probabilities for mission critical thresholds for user specified environmental parameters (e.g., surface winds, significant wave height, precipitation, sea and land surface temperatures).
- The system will provide a range of product display types, such as horizontal maps, vertical cross sections, time series, time-longitude, and time latitude visualizations.
- A six month evaluation of the results will be completed in collaboration with Navy Climate Services forecasters at FNMOC during the option portion of the Phase II.

PHASE III: The software will be implemented as an enhancement to the Advanced Climate Analysis and Forecasting (ACAF) system at the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC) under a Technology Transition Agreement between COMNAVMETOCCOM and either ONR or PMW-120. Collaboration with other potential users such as USAF 14th Weather Squadron and NOAA Climate Prediction Center will also be explored. Additional potential product types beyond the prototype will be identified.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: This technology could be used by commercial organizations involved in environmental services, emergency management, and decision support for a wide range of commercial sectors (e.g., resource development and management (water, agriculture, energy), transportation, insurance/reinsurance, etc.), as well as long range planners in local, state, and federal government agencies, DoD, and the intelligence community.

1. ACAF, https://ams.confex.com/ams/93Annual/webprogram/Paper211375.html.

2. The North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME): Phase-1 Seasonal to Interannual Prediction, Phase-2 Toward Developing Intra-Seasonal Prediction; Kirtman, B P. et al., Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 2013; http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00050.1.

3. NMME, http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/NMME/.

4. Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF), http://esg-pcmdi.llnl.gov/esgf.

KEYWORDS: Environmental data visualization, climate and weather services and planning

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