CommuniteE-Letter Volume 5, Number 8, December 2009
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San Francisco here we come
Photo Credit:
Robert Drescher

AGU Fall Meeting
GOES-10 goes (away)
News Briefs
  Past Issues

AGU Fall Meeting


Look for Unidata at the American Geophysical Union Fall meeting, 14-18 December 2009. Staff will participate on several levels that include paper and poster presentations and chairing sessions.

In 1995, Unidata held a forum at the fall meeting to solicit information from interested participants and to discuss current and future directions of the program. This was a pivotal time for Unidata because we were in the preliminary stages of providing data via the Internet to the Unidata community. This delivery mechanism has become the Internet Data Distribution (IDD).

The Earth and Space Science Informatics session inaugurated in 2004 by Unidata and co-convenors as Cyberinfrastructure for Earth Systems Science has grown.We're happy to report that this year, the ESSI section has attracted 396 abstracts.

Here's a link to the schedule of Unidata-related presentations by both staff and community members.

We suggest that you consider attending a Town Hall Meeting on renewable energy taking place Monday, December 14, 2009 at 19:45-20:45 in Moscone West Room 2009. For more information open this link.

Plan to stop by the UCAR Community Programs (UCP) booth, numbers 301 and 303, to bring yourself up to date on the UCP and Unidata.

GOES-10 goes (away)

After spending the majority of its life as GOES-West, GOES-10 was repurposed in 2006 for South America surveillance.

After three years gathering imagery of South America, NOAA determined in early 2009 that GOES-10 had to be decommissioned because it had reached its end-of-fuel life. Decommissioning the satellite occurred on schedule, December 1, 2009. As anticipated, Unidata lost signal at 05:28 UTC when NOAA boosted GOES-10 to a disposal orbit.

Beginning in January 2007, Unidata made this imagery available to the community through the GOES-East sectors in the Unidata-Wisconsin (UNIWISC) IDD feed. GOES-10 imager scans were included in over 6000 composite GOES-East sectors delivered every half hour to over 100 institutions participating in the UNIWISC feed. In an effort to promote the free and open exchange of data among North and Latin American researchers and educators, Unidata and the Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil) hosted an August 2008 workshop that highlighted the availability and use of GOES-10 data. Direct, programmatic access to these data spurred use by over 450 users in 33 countries since ingestion began. Notably, GOES-10 imager data was used by NCAR's Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL) to provide mission planning and scientific research support for the Variability of American Monsoon Systems (VAMOS) Ocean- Cloud-Atmosphere-Land Study Regional Experiment (VOCALS-REX). This project was an international field experiment designed to better understand physical and chemical processes central to the climate system of the Southeast Pacific region.

As for the future, NOAA plans to transition GOES-12 out of GOES-East service and into dedicated South America service by the beginning of June. On January 19 GOES-13 will be taken out of on-orbit storage; it will begin executing a GOES-East scan schedule by January 25, 2010 while being drifted to 75W longitude. When GOES-13 becomes GOES-East on April 14, GOES-12 will be moved to 60W longitude and begin providing South America service by May 11.

More information:

The three images below show the relative proportion of GOES-East and GOES-10 coverages in UNIWISC imagery

Facilities for Atmospheric and Earth System Research Database (FAESR)

Julie Gerlemon, NCAR-EOL

Editor's Note: The information contained in this article should be of particular interest for participants in Unidata's summer Users Workshop: Using Operation and Experimental Obervations in Education

A new and valuable resource available to the atmospheric research community is the Facilities for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (FAESR) Database, previously called the NSF Facilities Assessment Database (FADB). In a little less than a year since its launch in 2008, FAESR has grown to over 600 research community contributors and over 1,200 facility and instrument records. It provides researchers with detailed information on existing, new, and emerging observational facilities and is a valuable reference tool for partners, including governmental agencies looking to utilize or share such science facilities. Since it provides a context of the entire suite of instruments available to the community, it can also be used in the task of planning the next generation of observational capabilities. Users can browse the records to familiarize themselves with what instruments are available to them for their own research and teaching, or to find potential collaborators. Users can become members for free if they wish to contribute information about their own instrument to the database.

News Briefs

EGU Annual Meeting

The European Geosciences Union General Assembly will take place in Vienna, Austria 2-7 May 2010. We invite you to take advantage of the opportunity to submit an abstract and to consider the Earth & Space Science Informatics Session. Note that abstracts are due by 18 January 2010. General meeting information is available at

DeSouza Award Nominations:

The solicitation for nominations for Unidata's DeSouza Award went out to the community in December. See: and

Honorees personify the Unidata ideal of a community that shares data, software, and ideas through computing and networking technologies. Send nominations to  Please provide a brief perspective/description of the nominee's contributions to the Unidata community. The deadline for receiving nominations is 1 February 2010. The successful nominee will be invited to make a presentation at a future Users Committee meeting in Boulder.

Unidata Users Committee Student member nominations

In addition to DeSouza Award nominations, the Users Committee is also seeking candidates for the student representative spot on the committee The position is a 2-year appointment, and nominees should be graduate students who have completed at least one year of study, use Unidata software, and hold a strong interest in the Unidata program. Nominations may be made by any community members, and self-nominations are accepted. The committee meets twice a year in Boulder and as it does for all for its voting members, the UPC covers all travel and lodging expenses for the student rep.

The deadline for nominations is fast approaching: 31 December 2009.

Unidata's Digs

Anyone who's visited the Program Center, knows that its space cannot be classified as the "lap of luxury." But, you probably do not know that at times it seems downright primitive. As evidence we provide the shot (right) of our venerable colleague Dr. Ben Domenico dressed for a day in the office, not for a trip to the mall. Beret and jacket provided enough protection to allow work to proceed through much of the day, but gloves were required for a portion of it. This is true folks, it's cold here.

Now, relief is on the way. Unidata will move to swing space around March 2011 and a remodel of FL4 will begin. It is scheduled for completion around January 2012. When that day arrives, one can hope that the boxelder bug infestations and frigid temps will be a thing of the past.


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The CommuniteE-letter is produced by editor, Jo Hansen, and production manager, Tina Campbell
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