Resolutions and policy decisions adopted by the Unidata Policy Committee at its meetings
Resolution: The Policy Committee supports the UPC in continued support and development of RAMADDA-like functionality.
Joint Resolution: The Unidata Users and Policy committees and the Unidata staff offer our sincere thanks to Cliff Jacobs for all of his hard work, support, and guidance over the past 18 years. His support of the Unidata program has fostered its outstanding success to the benefit of educational institutions. We wish him the best in his future endeavors. We will miss him and his wise counsel.
Consistent with Unidata's strategic plans and with efforts to facilitate climate data services development, the Policy Committee endorses an emphasis on both the CF Conventions layer in Unidata software and on helping to advance the development of the CF Conventions, for the benefits to the current Unidata community and for interoperability of tools and data in other communities. The Policy Committee also encourages efforts from the CF Conventions Committee to establish a position, hosted at the Unidata Program Center, that combines CF Coordinator and Data Scientist, if funding resources can be obtained among the many stakeholder organizations that benefit from sustained support for the CF Conventions.
The Policy Committee recommends that the Program Center continue to facilitate climate data services development *
The Policy Committee encourages the Program to explore the feasibility of delivering real-time air quality data to the community
The committee encourages the UPC to work closely with the National Weather Service to develop open-source standards for its new AWIPS release.
Unidata will explore synergies with the NCAR library to develop dynamic virtual workspaces focusing on datasets, tools and services to enhance knowledge extraction and discovery by a network-enabled community (for example, expanding THREDDS to include shared community workspaces). [A modified version of the resolution has been circulated to the committee.]
The Policy Committee recommends that the Program Center continue to facilitate climate data services development.
The Policy Committee encourages the Program Center to explore the feasibility of delivering real-time air quality data to the community.
The Policy Committee commends the very successful metrics assessment initiative led by Mohan Ramamurthy and Linda Miller and the evaluation process designed and conducted by Nelson Consulting Incorporated. Resolution
The Policy Committee recognizes the strategic long term value of the LEAD project for the Unidata community and encourages the UPC to take a key role in coordinating the development of proposal(s) for evolution of LEAD, to an extent that will not compromise the core activities and resources. Resolution
The Policy Committee expresses its appreciation to Melanie Wetzel for her leadership of the committee for the past three years. Her success at guiding the committee through landmark decisions and developments has been exemplary.
There has been a steady increase in interest in the application of information systems in earth and atmospheric sciences, as evidenced by the number of submissions to the AMS IIPS Conference and the formation within AGU of a Focus Group on "Informatics for Earth and Space Sciences". The National Science Foundation is making a substantial investment in cyberinfrastructure development across all the sciences, at a level of approximately $800 million per year in its current budget. Considerable intellectual innovation is occurring across traditional disciplinary boundaries and the field of informatics in the earth and atmospheric sciences has matured to the point where a new professional society journal is justified, as current AGU and AMS journals are focused on science advancement.
The Policy Committee recognizes the need for a new journal on earth and atmospheric science informatics and resolves to promote this idea through a letter addressed to AGU and AMS Presidents, asking the two societies to consider this as they develop their future publication plans.
The Policy Committee recognizes Unidata's obligation to make available the results of its software development and system solutions not only to the academic community, but also to the wider community, including government and commercial institutions. The Policy Committee recommends that the Unidata Program Center continue to make its software freely and openly available (to the extent that this does not impact Unidata's mission to support academic institutions and with appropriate indemnification from liability) to realize the benefits of open source development on behalf of the Unidata Community.
The Policy Committee expresses its appreciation to John Merrill for his leadership of the committee for the past seven years. His success at guiding the committee through landmark decisions and developments has been exemplary.
On behalf of the Unidata community the Policy Committee expresses its appreciation to Ben Domenico for his leadership as acting Director of the Unidata Program.
Ben's conscientious efforts at guiding the development of the Unidata 2008 proposal over the last few months are especially commendable. The collaborative and multi-disciplinary contracts and alliances he has forged will benefit the program significantly, and we look forward to his ongoing contributions and collegial interactions.
The PolComm endorses, in a general sense, the vision, directions, and strategies put forth by the Unidata leadership in the last several meetings, and anticipates May adoption of the completed strategic plan, accompanied by a clear sense of priorities and of the impact on current endeavors. In the meantime, the Polcomm encourages submitting proposals (e.g. THREDDS), developing collaborations (with digital libraries, e.g.), and taking other steps that position Unidata to achieve the vision.
No resolutions taken at the committee's January meeting, but members agreed that the May meeting would be devoted in large part to strategic planning. The items of concern for strategic planning included Unidata's participation policy, new potential collaborations with others, and NSF's evolving strategies. As agreed, the May meeting was focused on strategic planning and no resolutions were taken.
The Policy Committee met in teleconference on January 29. The meeting was devoted exclusively to status reports by participants; no resolutions were made. The committee met again May 17-18 in Boulder. A major focus of the meeting was a eulogy for staff member Glenn Davis and the consequences of his loss to the Unidata Program. The committee also engaged in discussions with NCAR/SCD on Unidata - SCD cooperative efforts for providing access to archival data, on Unidata responsibilities concerning restrictions on international data, and began wrestling with the question of how to define who is a Unidata participant. There were no resolutions taken at the May meeting. Finally, the committee met in Arlington, VA, on September 13-14. Discussions included concerns about the scaleability of the LDM/IDD; the role of GEMPAK in Unidata's suite of supported software in the face of National Weather Service plans to phase out development and support for GEMPAK (Unidata intends to continue support for GEMPAK during the current proposal period); and continuing discussion on Unidata's participation policy. There were no resolutions taken at the September meeting.
The Policy Committee recommends that Unidata work with UNAVCO to submit a proposal to NSF for MRI funding to start, operate, and distribute data from a SuomiNet for a fixed period of time. Passed with one opposed at the 5-6 February meeting in Boulder, CO.
The Policy Committee recommends that it be given time to review the revised SuomiNet proposal prior to submittal. Passed with one opposed and one abstaining at the 5-6 February meeting in Boulder, CO.
The Policy Committee accepts the purpose and procedures drafted by its subcommittee to create a Russell L. DeSouza Outstanding Participation Award. Passed unanimously at the 5-6 February meeting in Boulder, CO.
The Policy Committee expresses its support for UPC participation leading to a UCAR-wide KDI proposal, along the lines summarized in the white paper presented by Fulker. The Policy Committee wishes to stress the importance of including community participation.Passed with one opposed at the 5-6 February meeting in Boulder, CO.
Other discussions at the February meeting: the committee also heard an update on PAGE and on Unidata's Java transition, and reports on Unidata's evolving plans for receving NOAAport and experiments on distributing NEXRAD Level II data via IDD.
The Policy Committee tasks the UPC to investigate methods to improve access to historical data as specified in Recommendation 3 and Level II radar data as specified in Recommendation 6 and report back to the Policy Committee at its next meeting.Passed unanimously at the 18-19 May meeting in Narragansett, Rhode Island
The Policy Committee thanks the NSF review panel for the efforts, diligence, and insight shown in its Unidata Program review. The Policy Committee gratefully accepts the recommendations of the review committee and will consider each and every one of these in establishing and managing Unidata priorities for the next five years. The Policy Committee will treat the recommendations to be prioritized by the review committee in the order given. Passed unanimously at the 18-19 May meeting in Narragansett, Rhode Island
The Policy Committee recognizes that the facts of life are a modest increase from the FY 1998 NSF Unidata budget of $2.3M for FY 99, with similar annual growth through 2003. This differs significantly from the $3.643M requested for FY99 in the Unidata 2003 proposal. This modest increase in the FY99 budget over FY98 and NSF's forecast for annual growth will require drastic reductions in the UPC budget. The Policy Committee will work to these numbers until there is a reason to change. Passed unanimously at the 18-19 May meeting in Narragansett, Rhode Island
The Policy Committee recommends that, in making the necessary cuts to its program, the UPC be cognizant of the vital role that data flows and user support activities play in research and education in the atmospheric sciences. Passed unanimously at the 18-19 May meeting in Narragansett, Rhode Island
The Policy Committee endorses the establishment of the Russell DeSouza Award for Outstanding Participation as recommended by the Unidata Users Committee. Passed unanimously at the 18-19 May meeting in Narragansett, Rhode Island
The Policy Committee expresses its appreciation to Doug Sargeant (NOAA) for his long and highly constructive service to the Unidata Program and the community of Unidata users through his participation on the Policy Committee. Passed unanimously at the 15-16 October meeting in Arlington, Virginia
The Policy Committee recognizes the Users Committee's concerns regarding the future of GEMPAK/N-AWIPS and will make every effort to ensure that the functionality of this software is not lost to the community. The Policy Committee further recognizes the Users Committee's interest in maintaining some level of software commonality between the university and forecasting communities. Passed with one abstention at the 15-16 October meeting in Arlington, Virginia
In agreement with the recommendation by the NSF review panel, the Users Committee recommends that the Unidata Policy Committee explore Unidata collaboration with other agencies and organizations (e.g., NCAR SCD) to facilitate access to archived meteorological data in forms compatible with Unidata-supported software. Passed unanimously at the 15-16 October meeting in Arlington, Virginia.
The Policy Committee adopts the following changes in Unidata's platform support as recommended by the Users Committee:
Passed unanimously at the 15-16 October meeting in Arlington, Virginia.
The Policy Committee gives full authority to the Users Committee for making the Russell DeSouza Award. Passed unanimously at the 15-16 October meeting in Arlington, Virginia.
The Policy Committee recommends that the UPC develop an exit plan for OS/2 that results in the sunset of OS/2 by June 1998. This plan will be considered by the Policy Committee at its next meeting. Passed unanimously at the 23-24 January meeting in Miami, FL.
The Policy Committee recommends that the UPC develop recommendations concerning operating systems (or substitutes for operating systems) for support by the Unidata Program and present them at the next Policy Committee meeting. Passed with one dissent at the 23-24 January meeting in Miami, FL.
Other discussions at the January meeting: UOP director Pennell's report on the formation of the PAGE program; a possible Unidata proposal for Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) funds; draft Unidata's proposal to NSF for continuation funds.
Passed unanimously at the 29-30 May meeting in Boulder, CO. In view of:
The Policy Committee endorses the principles expressed in Dave Fulker's presentation, "Toward Java and Platform Independence," namely:
The Policy Committee requests the UPC develop a transition plan from OS/2 and UNIX to a system involving a Java-based client-server implementation. The transition should include the following steps:
Other discussions at the May meeting: UOP's reorganization and the appointment of Jack Fellows as UOP director; Users Committee plans for the summer workshop; operating system issues; SuomiNet as a planned MRI proposal; university access to NEXRAD data; Unidata strategies for distributing NOAAport; the PAGE proposal to NSF; the NASA Cooperative Agreement Notices concerning their Distributed Active Archive Centers.
The Policy Committee expresses its appreciation to NCEP for providing the opportunity to distribute data to the Unidata community. Passed unanimously at the 30 September - 1 October meeting in Arlington, VA.
A. The Unidata Program Center will coordinate with one or two IDD sites to have them obtain NCEP grids from the OSO servers and distribute the grids to the community via the IDD. Unidata participants will be informed when the grids are available via the IDD. Assessment of the impact of IDD distribution on the OSO server would be useful.
B. The Unidata Program Center should continue to work with NCEP and the USWRP to develop, maintain, and evolve a mechanism for distributing data via the IDD. Passed unanimously at the 30 September - 1 October meeting in Arlington, VA.
(Statement of the sense of the Committee): The committee agreed that UPC efforts toward Java need to include:
Other discussions at the fall meeting: UPC's transition to Java and the formation of a beta-test group; report on AWIPS and NOAAport from NWS; Unidata's participation in the Rhode Island proposal to NASA for the Distributed Ocean Data System (DODS); distributing NCEP model data to universities via IDD; development of the SuomiNet proposal; potential Unidata response to NSF's new KDI (Knowledge and Distributed Intelligence) initiative.
Note: This year, due to budget uncertainties, the Policy Committee cancelled one scheduled meeting and began attending to business via email. Consequently, from here on, resolutions are numbered annually.
The Unidata Policy Committee resolves that the definition of those eligible to participate in Unidata include institutions of higher education within the United States and Canada. Other criteria currently in use for qualification of institutions to be participants remains unchanged.
Passed unanimously via email 6 March 1996.
The Unidata Policy Committee encourages the UPC to stay actively informed on COMET activities and plans and to coordinate and work with COMET where synergy exists. Specifically, the Committee asks the Unidata Director to report on such activities in his status reports.
Passed at the May 30-June 1 1996 meeting in Boulder, CO
The Policy Committee resolves that Policy Committee Resolution 96.1 be amended to read: The Unidata Policy Committee resolves that the definition of those eligible to participate in Unidata include institutions of higher education within the United States and the World Meteorological Organization's Region 4. Other criteria currently in use for qualification of institutions to be participants remains unchanged.
Passed at the October 3-4 meeting by a vote of 4:1.
The Policy Committee acknowledges the need expressed by the Users Committee resolution on education as a statement of need by the community and passes the concerns expressed therein to Unidata Office of Programs director Bill Pennell for consideration by the ad hoc steering committee on education that Pennell convened in September 1996.
Passed at the October 3-4 meeting by a vote of 3:2.
The Policy Committee endorses the Users Committee proposal for a summer 1997 workshop entitled: "Using Instructional Technologies and Satellite Data for College-level Education in the Atmospheric and Earth Sciences."
Passed unanimously at the October 3-4 meeting.
The Policy Committee notes and agrees with Users Committee Action 4, which states "Unidata needs to keep the community apprised through e-mail and Unidata Newsletter articles about the future directions being planned." Passed unanimously at the October 3-4 meeting.
Discussions: At the May 30 - June 1 meeting, the committee discussed how to cope with budget stringencies and the need for access to historical data. The committee held a joint meeting with the COMET Advisory Board to examine possible synergies between the two programs. The committee devoted one full day to strategic planning, identifying areas of consensus and areas needing futher discussion.
At the October 3 - 4 meeting, in addition to the discussions that led to resolutions 96.3-6, the committee discussed a matrix of activities proposed for the next funding cycle (1998-2003). There was considerable agreement on the broad categories.
The Policy Committee reaffirms its commitment to a fully netCDF-compliant suite of applications. In light of ATAC resolution 9502, the Policy Committee advises the UPC to develop decoders for conventional data that produce netCDF files.
The Policy Committee, after considering the current state of netCDF development, recommends that netCDF operator implementation be terminated and that program effort be applied to enhancing the netCDF data model, library, language interfaces, and application interfaces.
The Policy Committee adopts in principle the policy on sponsored participation drafted by the UPC on 15 September 1995.
The Policy Committee adopts the policy on platform support drafted by the UPC on 15 September 1995.
Discussions: The committee was joined by R. Greenfield and A. Gaines (both of NSF); a major topic of discussion was what Unidata's role might be within the broader geosciences community. Other topics included what strategy Unidata should employ in the face of possible budget stringencies (due to Congressional budget-balancing initiatives), how Java will alter Unidata's approach to applications support, and the proposed sponsored participation policy. They also responded to a series of ATAC resolutions on the on-going problem of coping with data-stream changes, the need for decoders, and the need for software building blocks. The committee engaged in strategic planning; some issues were evolving technologies, the breadth of the Unidata community, and the potential effects of new observing platforms/environmental data streams.
The Unidata Policy Committee supports the User Committee's recommendation that WXP be moved to community support. [did not pass unanimously]
Discussions: In addition to the discussion on WXP support, the committee discussed the high costs of NIDS data, problems associated with changes by NWS to its data streams, problems associated with supporting multiple operating systems in general (and the consequences of supporting OS/2 in particular), and the UPC problems with the associate participation policy--a new policy called "sponsored participation" was proposed. The committee heard reports from NSF on its 1996 budget request; from NOAA on GOES and an update on the modernization effort; and from the UPC on IDD implementation. The committee discussed and selected new members for the Users Committee, and decided to alot time at each meeting for strategic planning.
The Policy Committee recommends that the UPC, in partnership with the Unidata Community, continue to apply a pragmatic approach to decisions about which platforms to support and which to sunset.
The Policy Committee supports the direction taken by the UPC in regard to the UPC's proposal to the National Weather Service to provide support for SOOs, and asks the UPC to consult with the Committee if conditions (as outlined in the proposal) change.
The Policy Committee recommends that the Users Committee be expanded to nine members on a three-year rotation plan.
Discussions: The committee also discussed the possibility of a Unidata display/booth at the American Geophysical Union annual fall meeting, mechanisms for recognizing outstanding participation by a user, associate participation, and IDD implementation.
The Policy Committee recommends that the UPC, in
partnership with the Unidata Community, continue to apply a pragmatic approach to decisions about which platforms to support and which to sunset.
The Policy Committee supports the direction take by
the UPC in regard to the UPC's proposal to the National Weather Service to provide support for SOOs, and asks the UPC to consult with the Committee if conditions (as outlined in the proposal) change.
The Policy Committee recommends that the Users
Committee be expanded to nine members on a three-year rotation plan.
November 1994 9411.1
The Policy Committee commends Dan Vietor for his lengthy past and current contributions to the Unidata community.
November 1994 9411.2
The Policy Committee: recommends that the UPC continue to pursue a low-cost "IDD in a box"; views with concern the UPC's subvention operation of the IDD to a regional network operator; and recommends that the UPC approach with caution the use of developmental equipment in operation regional data distribution.
Discussions: The committee also discussed platform support policies, how new program initiatives might be developed, and lessons learned from the YNOT development. The committee reiterated its recommendation that IDD development take priority over netCDF integration. The committee heard reports from NSFNET Program Director Jane Huston on the NSFNET transition and from NWS Director Joe Friday on international data issues.
June 1994 9406.1
The Policy Committee thanks John Nielsen-Gammon for his many contributions as a member of the committee and looks forward to his continued involvement in the Unidata Program.
June 1994 9406.2
Given the report on Unidata/COMET workshop entitled Teaching Mesoscale Meteorology in the Age of the Modernized Weather Service, the Policy Committee recommends that the UPC review the implementation schedule of netCDF compatibility and report on updated schedules at the February 1995 meeting.
June 1994 9406.3
The Policy Committee commends the Unidata Users Committee and all the sponsors for the creation of a very successful workshop.
June 1994 9406.4
The Policy Committee will seek to broaden the Users Committee to encompass representatives from the Geosciences.
June 1994 9406.5
The Policy Committee recommends that the UPC aggressively pursue connection of Unidata members to the IDD as rapidly as possible. The community should be informed as soon as practical of the UPC plan for accelerating IDD connections to all Internet-connected members and of the information requested from each member to enable connection. Priority will be given to members willing and able to serve as relay nodes. All others will be queued for connection on a first-come, first-served basis commensurate with available resources and upstream capabilities after receipt of all information needed for connection.
June 1994 9406.6
The Policy Committee commends the UPC on their work on explaining and clarifying the IDD concept and giving the Policy Committee a clear briefing on this issue. The Policy Committee endorses the IDD principles document.
June 1994 9406.7
Given the current DIFAX situation and the high community interest in DIFAX products, the Policy Committee rescinds resolution 9306.2 and advises the UPC to address the cost-effective distribution of DIFAX products via the Internet.
June 1994 Discussions: The committee also discussed obtaining COMET case studies and images for the university community, the delay in integrating netCDF into GEMPAK and McIDAS, and Unidata's role within the NSF.
March 1994 9403.1
The Policy Committee recommends that the UPC encourage universities to organize a regional workshop on K-12 outreach by the atmospheric science community. 9403.2 The Policy Committee recommends that the UPC publish a "special edition" of the Unidata Newsletter as soon as practical covering those aspects of the FOS and NIDS contracts that the community needs to know and that serves as a reference for acquiring and using FOS and NIDS data and products within the spirit and letter of the contracts. The impending newsletter should advertise the upcoming special edition if possible.
March 1994 Discussions: The committee was informed that the UPC had ceased allocating resources for the development and support of YNOT. The committee was appraised on the Users Committee reaction to the Fall 1993 community survey and on its plans for the June 1994 workshop (the lack of K-12 involvement resulted in resolution 9403.1). The committee also expressed concern about the NWS plan to discontinue the Wind Profiler network; they discussed various issues associated with IDD implementation and with platform-support policies; they heard reports on the Globe Program and on the availability of lightning data.
October 1993 9310.1
Statement of Principle: The Unidata Policy Committee believes in principle that supporting a single platform or a single operating system is not a feasible option for the Unidata Program. 9310.2 The Policy Committee recommends that Unidata data distribution, software distribution, and user support be performed entirely via Internet as of 1 September 1995. Unidata therefore will require that sites requesting Unidata support and data delivery establish TCP/IP access to the Internet no later than 1 September 1995. Unidata can provide limited technical and other assistance to help sites connect to the Internet.
October 1993 9310.3
The Unidata Program Center is encouraged to engage in joint proposals and endeavors with U.S. universities and other geoscience consortia to enhance math and science education across a broad range of grade levels and disciplines through uses of geoscientific data and applicable technologies IF:
October 1993 9310.4
The Unidata Policy Committee agrees to extend the test of YNOT to the end of the spring academic term. 9310.5 The Unidata Policy Committee recommends the UPC expend up to 1 FTE (full-time equivalent) on support of YNOT until December 1 1993 and recommends the UPC expend up to 0.5 FTE from December until the Policy Committee meetings in July 1994.
October 1993 9310.6
The Policy Committee recommends that the UPC continue with its current draft of the Request for Proposal concerning the NIDS data.
October 1993 Discussions: The committee discussed the UPC RFP for acquisition of FOS and NIDS data. The status of IDD development and how IDD should be managed were discussed; due to funding limitations and the variety of platforms being used at the test relay sites, the UPC will build IDD on the distributed model (management by universities). There was concern expressed by the trend toward commercialization of weather data by many nations. University interest in K-12 outreach and the potential benefits of using the IDD system to aid these efforts led to resolution 9310.3 above. The UPC decision to cut the research floater from the Unidata/Wisconsin data stream was approved as an effective (and easily reversible) means of cutting costs. The SUNY-Albany offer of access to lightning data was discussed and the committee asked for clarification on the use of these data. The committee discussed the ongoing cost of support for multiple platforms; these discussion resulted in the statement of policy above (9310.1). The committee heard a report on the first Unidata regional workshop held in SUNY-Brockport in August. The testing of YNOT software by two universities during the spring 1994 semester was discussed. The committee received a briefing from Tim Ahern on the IRIS (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology) program.
June 1993 9306.1
The Policy Committee recommends that applications for participation in the Unidata Program from non-core institutions be evaluated by the Unidata Program Center and UCAR and that the applications and the UPC's recommendations be circulated to the Policy Committee for comments. [Comment: See the December 1992 summary for a definition of core institutions.]
June 1993 9306.2
Given Unidata's other high-priority activities, the Policy Committee advises Unidata not to distribute or support DIFAX. DIFAX is readily available commercially, and many DIFAX products are available elsewhere for those that need them.
June 1993 9306.3
The Policy Committee supports the UPC's stated plan to cooperate with COMET in developing data formats that might allow Unidata to use COMET case studies in the future.
June 1993 Discussions: Topics included the role of YNOT in the suite of Unidata-supported software (the software is currently being tested and the committee intends to evaluate continued support for the package at its January 1994 meeting). The committee heard reports on the current evaluation of NOAA's demonstration profiler network; on the National Information Infrastructure and its possible impacts on NSFnet; on the NOAA modernization effort; on the current status of Unidata's testing of the Internet Data Distribution (IDD) system; on establishing the Advanced Technology Advisory Committee; and on the state of planning for the 1994 Unidata Users workshop. The committee spent considerable time considering how various funding levels from NSF will impact the Unidata Program.
There were no resolutions or policy decisions taken during this meeting. Discussions:
Topics discussed included the IDD (whether the system should be centrally administered or follow a distributed model) and concern over Unidata sites still without NSFnet connections as the IDD system enters testing; concern that small teaching schools are not applying for NSF Unidata equipment grants; planning for the 1994 Unidata Users Workshop; strategies for managing the IDD system; the status of YNOT; and the useability of the COMET case studies in the university environment. The committee also received a briefing on the progress of AWIPS from Dennis Walts of NOAA.
December 1992 9212.1 The Policy Committee recommends that the UPC finish and release the YNOT-GEMPAK drivers and the current YNOT worksheets and seek out a small number of potential sites for an extensive collaborative evaluation of YNOT. [Comment: the committee is concerned about continuing to expend resources on a software package that appears to be of little interest to the community.]
December 1992 9212.2 The Policy Committee endorses the UPC plan that would lead to a fully tested network data distribution system (except for automatic data recovery) by the first quarter of 1994, if no additional resources are received. The plan calls for:
Continuing support for McIDAS and GEMPAK
Continuing support of sites installing Unidata systems on UNIX for the first time
Suspending software integration and netCDF operator development
Suspending further development of YNOT (beyond the GEMPAK driver and current worksheets)
Resulting in a fully tested overall system of network data distribution by third quarter 1994.
December 1992 9212.3 The Policy Committee recommends that its meetings be cut back to three per year. 9212.4 The Policy Committee recommends that the Unidata Users Committee be authorized to meeting up to three times per year at the discretion of the committee and its chair.
December 1992 9212.5 The Policy Committee recommends that UCAR dissolve the Implementation Working Group and that the UPC form an Advanced Technical Advisory Committee that would be authorized to meet up to twice a year if its members deemed it necessary.
December 1992 Discussions: Topics included how to evaluate YNOT; what universities will want of the NEXRAD data; Unidata-NOAA relations in the contest of the Internet Data Distribution system; and on how to restructure Unidata's committee for the new proposal period.
December 1992 Discussions: The committee spent considerable time defining Unidata's core institutions. These are U.S. universities engaged in teaching and research. The core institutions have the highest priority in terms of Unidata resources; are represented by the Policy and Users Committees, may receive subsidies for data and data delivery, are automatically entitled to donated software, and automatically meet all criteria for participation in Unidata.
December 1992 Discussions: The committee then identified a second category of institutions that might also participate in some limited degree in the Unidata program. These are institutions where there is a potential for synergy between the institution and the Unidata Program. Institutions within this category may join the program if membership would be mutually beneficial and if the Unidata Program and the Policy Committee agree. Data and data delivery to these institution may or may not be subsidized and they do not have automatic access to contributed software (such access would be determined by the software's donor).
December 1992 Discussions: Finally, institutions within this category may be required to contribute to Unidata's support effort. Institutions not meeting any of the criteria in the first two categories should be directed to commercial data providers: they cannot receive subsidized data and they are not entitled to any benefits from the Unidata Program.
September 1992 9209.1 The Unidata Policy Committee asks the UPC to: temporarily redirect resources currently allocated to support the proposed scientific programmer III to expedite Internet data distribution activities;
develop a plan, including information on resource needs, for implementing a "full-up" Internet data distribution system by 1 January 1994;
develop a plan, with resource needs, to maintain the proposed Internet data distribution system;
assess the impact of expediting the implementation and operation of the Internet data distribution system on currently scheduled Unidata activities.
September 1992 9209.2 The Policy Committee resolves to increase the Unidata Users Committee membership by one person. 9209.3 The Unidata Policy Committee accepts and endorses the resolutions put forth by the IWG at its September 1992 meeting with the proviso that the UPC will establish reasonable sunsetting procedures for IWG Resolution 3. The IWG resolutions from this meeting read as follows:
IWG Resolution 1: The IWG endorses Unidata's plans to implement YNOT user interface under MOTIF only.
IWG Resolution 2: The IWG recommends that the Unidata Policy Committee adopt the following UPC recommendations: The UPC should support systems and applications software on only the latest generally available operating system release for each supported platform.
The UPC should provide binary versions of Unidata systems and applications software for each supported platform, as well as making the source code available to licensed users.
The UPC should only support source distributions for a single development environment (compiler, include files, libraries) on each platform, instead of trying to support multiple combinations of available development environments on supported platforms.
IWG Resolution 3: The IWG recommends that the Unidata Policy Committee adopt the following UPC recommendation: 4. The UPC should cease supporting Sun 3 and VAXstation platforms.
IWG Resolution 4: The IWG recommends that the Unidata Users Committee investigate the use of the GEOMET lightning network by the Unidata community.
IWG Resolution 5: The IWG recommends that the UPC work with the SSEC to integrate the Unidata/Wisconsin transmission into the LDM4 data feed.
IWG Resolution 6: The IWG recommends that the UPC investigate the advisability of supporting OS/2 machines to function as leaf nodes on the LDM4 data feed.
September 1992 9209.4 The Unidata Policy Committee is favorably disposed to accepting a foreign university as a Unidata site, pending the receipt of a letter formally requesting participation and clarifying the university's contribution to the Unidata Program.
September 1992 Discussions: NSF budget situation and whether non-NSF funds should be sought; status of GOES; installation of LDM at NMC; future UPC development of netCDF; participation by foreign universities; software integration. The direction and pace of YNOT development was discussed at length and the committee requested that the UPC prepare a thorough review of the package; the committee also asked the Users Committee to contribute to this review. The response of the reviewers to Unidata's NSF proposal were presented to the committee and engendered considerable discussion.
June 1992 9206.1 The Unidata Policy Committee requests the UPC to: ask NOAA for authority to issue an RFP in order to provide university access to NIDS data and for permission to assign the 25 special subscriber credits as part of the RFP process, and seek information concerning the cost and availability of NIDS data access from the three NIDS vendors in order to prepare an RFP.
June 1992 9206.2 The Unidata Policy Committee requests that the UPC take action to inform the university community of potentially available NIDS products and the nature and content of those products. 9206.3 The Unidata Policy Committee requests the Unidata Users Community to provide assistance to the UPC in constructing an RFP for NIDS data access which reflects the anticipated community needs for NIDS access and products.
June 1992 9206.4 The Unidata Policy Committee adopts as Unidata policy IWG Resolutions 3 and 4:
IWG Resolution 3: The IWG recommends that the UPC adopt the following six measures of software integration: Operation on UPC-supported UNIX platforms
Ease and consistency of installation and maintenance
Use of portability-enhancing methods
Consistent user interface.
IWG Resolution 4: The IWG recommends that the Policy Committee consider resource allocations using triage principles:
June 1992 9206.5 In the context of software integration, the triage principles identified in the preceding resolution correspond to the following three questions:
Is development and maintenance of a given software package likely to continue?
How much effort will be required to attain a given level of integration?
Is the package likely to continue to fill a need in the university community?
June 1992 Discussions: The reorganization of UCAR and the creation of the Office of Programs containing Unidata and COMET, among other programs; level of meteorological experience within UPC; the unexpectedly rapid growth in the number of GEMPAK users; consequences of moving to UNIX; agreement that Policy Committee meeting agendas be focused on issues of policy and that issues of scientific concern be addressed by the Unidata Users Committee. The committee heard a reports from the Users Committee on the analysis of their survey and users concerns about software integration and the difficulties of systems administration; from NASA on the status of EOSDIS; from the External Programs Coordinator on university opeions for accessing NEXRAD data. A considerable portion of the meeting was devoted to discussing software integration issues.
March 1992 9203.1 The Policy Committee recommends that the UPC develop background information on what NEXRAD data are available through NOAA and commercial vendors. 9203.2 The Policy Committee asks the Unidata Users Committee to determine what NEXRAD observations are desired by the Unidata community for research and education purposes.
March 1992 9203.3 The Policy Committee recommends that the UPC submit a 5-year proposal to NSF.
March 1992 Discussions: Time required for software support; the impending YNOT general release; the speed of product development within Unidata; agreements with NWS; Unidata's place in ATM plans; commercialization of the LDM; Unidata outreach efforts; GEMPAK development; support for non-US universities; UPC's proposal to NSF. The committee heard reports on the cooperative effort between Unidata and NOAA to distribute experimental FSL data and on the results of the Users Committee survey.
December 1991 9112.1 The Unidata Policy Committee states its intent to proceed as rapidly as practical to implement delivery of data from Family of Services and the Unidata/Wisconsin Channel via the Internet, assuming technical and economic considerations remain favorable. When these data are available via Internet, the Committee intends to phase out all subsidies to Zephyr Weather Information Service and to cease all interface activities with Zephyr on behalf of universities in receipt of Family of Services data. The timetable for phasing out Zephyr support is currently unknown, but could occur as soon as late 1992 or early 1993. Universities desiring/needing to retain Zephyr services (because of inadequate Internet connectivity, for example) are expected to make independent arrangements with Zephyr. The UPC is directed to give a minimum of six months notice to all users before cessation of Zephyr support. 9112.2 The Policy Committee recommends that the UPC submit a proposal to CIESIN that:
focuses on Unidata's primary mission, specifically with regard to Unidata's goal of data distribution via the Internet;
retains for UCAR ownership, distribution, and intellectual property right for the Local Data Management software;
clearly delineates Unidata's role as a limited participant in a larger, more global CIESIN-directed and managed program; and
does not obligate Unidata to a long-term, on-going relationship with CIESIN.
December 1991 Discussions: The status of YNOT development; UPC efforts to access lightning data for the community; the separation of the SDM into individually supported software packages; the possibility of providing users with "turnkey" software; and UPC's plans to support GEMPAK. Considerable discussion surrounded Unidata's proposals to NSF and to the Consortium for an International Earth Science Infomration Network (CIESIN, a NASA program).
September 1991 9109.1 The Unidata Policy Committee recognizes that industry is moving toward POSIX-compliance and asks the UPC to: develop a strategy for moving its supported software toward POSIX compliance; and examine the associated resource and support implications of doing so.
September 1991 9109.2 The Policy Committee reaffirms its intention for the UPC to provide comprehensive support for GEMPAK as proposed. The Policy Committee asks the UPC to initiate support immediately. The Policy Committee further asks the UPC to assess the resource requirements of and to recommend any changes in resource allocations as required to accomplish this support.
September 1991 9109.3 The Policy Committee resolves that the UPC cease development of WXP at the end of the current commitment (anticipated to be Spring 92).
September 1991 9109.4 The Policy Committee resolves that the UPC, the Policy Committee chair, and other interested parties continue discussions with NOAA and other relevant groups concerning access to and distribution of Family of Services and experimental data streams. The sense of the Policy Committee is that university access to environmental observations and products necessitates access at minimal financial cost and maximal freedom of use by the university community.
September 1991 9109.5 The Policy Committee resolves that potential data access and usage agreements under discussion and/or negotiation should require minimal UPC responsibilities for controlling access and monitoring use.
September 1991 9109.6 In negotiating access to data on behalf of universities, the Policy Committee believes that it is unreasonable and impractical to constrain how data are used on the basis of whether the users compete with activities of the private sector. Such constraints would be neither well defined nor constant.
September 1991 9109.7 The Policy Committee resolves that
the UPC should assess potential mechanisms for monitoring Internet usage by Unidata services; and
the UPC should negotiate agreements as needed and engineer Internet transport mechanisms to minimize Internet usage-related costs.
September 1991 9109.8 The Unidata Policy Committee endorses active participation by the UPC in the CDROM project. The Policy Committee resolves that the UPC seek to minimize the need for software development and support of CDROM project materials. Finally, the Policy Committee notes that UPC participation in support activities for CD-ROMs will require either compatible media formats and software or additional targeted resources.
June 19919106.1 The Policy Committee acknowledges the Users Committee recommendation 8 [on the need to create a unified basic tool interface for SDM] and requests that the Users Committee compile a prioritized list of capabilities for the UNIX thread of Unidata software and provide the Policy Committee with their recommendations. 9106.2 The Policy Committee requests that the UPC (1) develop a policy for non-university affiliates to Unidata; (2) endeavor to discern what are the interest of possible affiliates; (3) determine the possible impacts of non-university affiliates on Unidata; and (4) provide the results of these determinations to the Policy committee. The Policy Committee will then consider this information and recommend a policy for non-university participation in the Unidata Program.
June 1991 9106.3 The Policy Committee resolves that the UPC inform the Unidata community that Unidata will adopt a tiered approach to software support on January 1992. Two changes will be made:
After this date, primary bug fixing will be via email communication. Secondary support will be via U.S. mail or some other time-delayed response. Emergency telephone queries will be accepted on a limited basis.
Routine software will be available via electronic FTP. Floppy disks will be available on a limited basis one to three months after the FTP distribution.
June 1991 It is Unidata's intention to cease non-electronically mediated support in June 1992, except under exceptional circumstances. 9106.4 The Policy Committee asks UCAR Liaison Richard Reed to convey to the UCAR Board of Trustees the Committee's concerns about the costs of data. Through representative Reed, Policy Committee requests that the Trustees seek legislative changes that will relieve NOAA of responsibility for recovering costs beyond those for data duplication and dissemination or for meeting specific requests.
June 1991 9106.5 The Policy Committee authorizes the UPC to continue using resources to investigate (even by means of feasibility testing, if so desired) the possibility of using the Internet to deliver data to the university community.
June 1991 9106.6 The Policy Committee authorizes the UPC to work with NSF and the Committee to negotiate with NOAA for access to data at the most favorable possible cost to the university community.
June 1991 9106.7 The
Policy Committee accepted the following IWG recommendation:
The IWG recommends that the UPC continue its low-level effort to coordinate users' tests of clone hardware with the proviso that Unidata cannot guarantee the continued operability of such hardware with McIDAS.
June 1991 9106.8 The
Policy Committee accepted the following IWG recommendation:
Forward error correction will necessitate increased costs and a reduction in the volume of the data stream, and in view of the SSEC's implementation of a backup system, the IWG recommends against implementing forward error correction at this time.
June 1991 9106.9 The
Policy Committee accepted the following IWG recommendation:
Due to cost constraints, the IWG recommends against changing the data rate to 19.2 kbs at this time.
June 1991 9106.10 The
Policy Committee accepted the following IWG recommendation:
Current UPC activities with respect to the Campus Weather Display applications were reviewed. Since such support could require a significant diversion of resources from currently approved UPC activities, the IWG requests a UPC assessment of resources needed for such support. The IWG endorses UPC support of the Campus Weather Display applications package with the qualification that the UPC minimize the impact on other software development and support of supporting Campus Weather Display applications.
June 1991 Policy Note 9106.1 The Policy Committee takes note of the UPC continuing discussion with Zephyr and approves the strategic context of these discussions.
June 1991 Discussions: The acceptance testing of Ynot; the limited interest by non-universities in paying for a Unidata subscription.
March 19919103.1 The Policy Committee affirms its desire to support field experiments in any way practical through the Unidata Program and specifically by making the Unidata Channel available at field sites. 9103.2 Until the floater subcommittee reports back to the Policy Committee, the Policy Committee authorizes the use of a second floater to support field experiments. Requests for such a floater should be directed to the Unidata Program Center.
March 1991 9103.3 The Policy Committee accepts IWG Resolution 3 and, after consideration, finds methods 1, 3, and 4 inappropriate for streamlining Unidata support efforts. However, the Policy Committee supports the UPC implementing methods 2 and 5. IWG Resolution 3 reads as follows:
The IWG recommends that the Policy Committee examine the following methods of reducing support costs:
Increase the "cost" to users by, e.g., installing an answering machine or limiting the number of hours staff may spend on support. (The "cost" to users will be slower response.)
Broadcast all email queries to the Unidata community and let the community initiate the first level of response.
Expand the buddy groups by getting a site to commit to supporting a particular product.
Refuse telephone inquires (not really a possibility).
Offer tiered support by having a student answer questions first.
March 1991 9103.4 Policy Committee asks the UCAR Foundation to further explore with all the necessary principals the feasibility and possible structure of providing Unidata tools and services to a broader community--NSF is considered one of the principals--and to report back to the Policy Committee at its next meeting.
March 1991 Policy Decision 9103.1 Rather than advising UCAR to form a joint Unidata/COMET committee on AWIPS and NEXRAD data, the Policy Committee reiterates its endorsement of Linda Miller's role as External Programs Coordinator.
March 1991 Discussions: The functions of COMET and Unidata and where there are areas of overlap; the potential for charging subscriptions to other government labs for Unidata software; the continuing question of how to identify which historical data sets the community really wants.
November 1990 9011.1
The Policy Committee adopts the IWG recommendation that the Users Committee and the UPC negotiate and implement changes to the McIDAS data stream directly, as long as these changes do NOT involve increases in the cost of the Unidata/Wisconsin data stream.
November 1990 9011.2
The Policy Committee recognizes the importance of communication and collaboration of the UPC with the EOSDIS effort. The UPC should explore avenues to acquaint EOSDIS planners with the technical developments and operational experience of Unidata. The level of UPC involvement in EOSDIS must take into account the potential for resource conflicts with Unidata's primary tasks. The UPC may wish to seek additional funding from NSF and NASA to support its EOSDIS planning efforts. Future developments within Unidata should anticipate, wherever possible, the Unidata community's needs for integrated use of data available through Unidata and EOSDIS.
November 1990 9011.3
The Policy Committee approves the collaboration among the UPC, COMET, FSL, and STORM and encourages the UPC to transfer to the Unidata community where possible the education-related capabilities developed in those programs.
November 1990 Discussions: The criticism of Unidata by larger universities for not providing software of interest to them.
September 1990 9009.1
Policy Committee supports the Users Committee recommendation for a June 1991 workshop. The Policy Committee further directs the Users Committee to proceed with planning for the workshop under the assumption that funding will be obtained from non-UPC sources.
September 1990 9009.2
The Policy Committee asks that the IWG consider the technical implications of a Unidata interface (reception and ingestion into the current suite of software) with NOAAport. The IWG should explore options and make recommendations in a draft report to the Policy Committee in time for its March 1991 meeting.
September 1990 Policy Decision
There was general agreement that UPC should not become an archivist for data.
September 1990 Policy Decision
Unidata will move to take advantage of NOAAport as a source of real-time environmental data and a mode of access to such data by universities. Unidata should plan to continue to supply universities with data for research that is not available routinely from operational distribution systems.
September 1990 Policy Decision 9009.3: UPC should actively pursue recognition and publicity for Unidata among Global Change planners.
September 1990 Discussions: Data broadcast problems and the possibility of a back-up system; presentation to NSF's director; need to disseminate information about Unidata; need to balance support vs development; possible collaborations with DEC.
June 1990 9006.1: The Policy Committee recommended once again that the UPC discontinue, as soon as possible, its subsidization of data broadcast to universities by Zephyr. This policy should be implemented sometime in the next fiscal year (1 October 1990-30 September 1991). The UPC should continue to subsidize the Unidata/Wisconsin channel.
June 1990 9006.2: The Policy Committee recommended that the UPC director resume contract negotiations with Zephyr immediately and that he accept Zephyr's offer as outlined in his presentation.
June 1990 9006.3: The Policy Committee strongly endorsed the concept of a joint Unidata/COMET workshop on mesoscale meteorology and the uses of Unidata products. The Policy Committee further encouraged UPC participation in the workshop; however, no significant UPC funds should be expended in direct support of this workshop.
June 1990 9006.4: The Policy Committee supported the IWG's recommendation to set the sunset date for DOS PC-McIDAS to be 15 October 1990.
June 1990 9006.5: The Policy Committee encouraged the UPC to limit resources expended toward encouraging others to use netCDF. If the UPC needs more money for a particular data set, they should resubmit the question to the Policy Committee.
June 1990 9006.6: The Policy Committee asks the NSF to allocate $140,000 in FY 1991 and $100,000 in FY 1992 in its budget for hardware grants to universities.
June 1990 Discussions: Budgets; Zephyr fee schedules; mechanisms for selecting historical data sets; need to develop strategies for EOS and NOAAport; NSF review panel report (the committee's responses to NSF panel recommendations are in the summary.)
March 1990 9003.1: Unidata should be more proactive a) in promoting the netCDF as a standard for new data sets and those archives that are being reformatted, and b) in seeking input as to which data sets should be converted for use with Unidata tools. The Policy Committee should use the Unidata User Committee as input in setting up these priorities, but should include input from other sources such as NCAR, NCDC, AMS, etc.
1990 9003.2: In response to the NSF review panel's recommendation
that Unidata discontinue support for VMS the following resolution
Unidata will continue SDM development on VMS through version 3 of the SDM, including use of the SYNCcable, the GUISE applications interface and McNAB, but excluding image analysis. Support for the VMS system will continue through June 1991, during which time a community support system will be organized. Image analysis for VMS will be obtained only if it is a no cost byproduct of the Unix image analysis system procurement.
March 1990 9003.3: In response to the NSF review panel's recommendation that Unidata improve data transmission quality and continuity, the Policy Committee discussed several possibilities including forward error correction systems for the broadcast and possible use of NSFnet for data distribution. It was decided that the problem should be quantified.
March 1990 9003.4: The Policy Committee agreed with the NSF review panel's recommendation that Unidata proceed without further delays, with the development, procurement, and implementation of UNIX-based image and data analysis tools and increase its interactions with other research organizations that do related development work.
March 1990 9003.5: The NSF review panel recommended that Unidata continue to take a limited role in providing Unidata products and presentations to pre-college education programs. The Policy Committee concluded that this recommendation implied no change in policy. Unidata will continue to focus on supporting universities until a new charge and new resources are identified.
March 1990 9003.6: The NSF review panel recommended that the atmospheric science community should be surveyed on the usefulness of Unidata products and services on a regular basis. The Policy Committee decided that the Unidata User Committee will continue to serve as the mechanism for surveying the community for input to the Policy Committee. It was cautioned that excessive surveying loses its effectiveness.
March 1990 9003.7: The NSF review panel recommended that the Unidata Policy Committee and Project Office take a more active role in informing and involving the community in technical and policy issues. The Policy Committee agreed that they should be active in informing the community regarding technical and policy issues. It was not agreed how or whether they should be more active.
March 1990 9003.8: The NSF review panel recommended that the Unidata member software license agreement be amended so that when institutions terminate membership, continued use of a pre-termination version of the licensed software is permitted. The Policy Committee asked the UPC to look into license changes to clarify the conditions that would require software to be returned.
March 1990 9003.9: The NSF review panel recommended that Unidata users be encouraged to publish in technical and non-technical publications results and accounts of research and educational applications and that such publications carry a standard Unidata/NSF acknowledgement. The Policy Committee asked the UPC to publish a note in the Newsletter encouraging the citation of Unidata in publications resulting from work that involves Unidata.
March 1990 9003.10: The NSF review panel recommended that the Unidata Program Center become more aggressive in seeking joint research and development opportunities consistent with its mission. The goal of a self-sufficient Unidata program during the time period of this proposal is unrealistic and would be detrimental. The Policy Committee expressed concern that this recommendation was in conflict with the recommendation that Unidata not broaden its scope to include science education and global change initiatives. Discussion of the item was tabled.
March 1990 9003.11: The NSF review panel recommended that an atmospheric science community workshop not be conducted at this time. The panel was not concerned that a significant change in the Unidata mission needs to be considered. The Policy Committee agreed with this recommendation, but noted that it might be reasonable to participate in such a workshop if the workshop were sponsored by some organization other than NSF/ATM.
The improved functionality of McIDAS OS/2, possible collaborative projects with BBN and JPL.
NSF Proposal (submitted November 1989) Within the three years covered by the proposal, Unidata committed to accomplishing the following: SDM (components to be available by end of proposal period):
Image analysis system
netCDF library and operators
Graphical user interface
"More flexible data capture"
Continue acting agent for university access to established data products
Continue subsidizing Unidata research channel
Library of historical data-to-netCDF translators (deleted, see below)
Software maintenance and distribution
Consultation and troubleshooting
Compatibility with hardware and operating system changes
Information on future hardware and operating system changes
In the subsequent budget negotiations with NSF, the following items were affected:
November-December 1989 No formal resolutions are recorded. The following decisions are cited in the minutes: 8911.1 The Policy Committee reaffirmed its position that products should be well-tested prior to release, but the UPC is advised to publish conservative schedules so that users are not surprised and disappointed by unexpected delays. Release dates should be in terms of quarters, and intermediate milestones should be publicized (electronically or in the newsletter) as they occur.
November-December 1989 8911.2 The UPC should negotiate a change to the present Zephyr contract that is consistent with the related resolution and action item adopted at the last Policy Committee meeting [cf.8909.3], and that secures the best possible rates, with particular emphasis on those services that are central to the Unidata mission.
September 1989 No formal resolutions are recorded. The following policy decisions are cited in the minutes: 8909.1 The highest priority for Unidata is to provide data management, analysis, and display facilities for the university community. Unidata encourages development of common-interface standards for data access, e.g., netCDF. In the interim, Unidata may provide mechanisms to distribute needed environmental observations for research and instructional activities in the university environment.
September 1989 8909.2 The Unidata policy is to give priority to UNIX SDM development with the expectation that VMS development will cease after SDM3+. Support for VMS will be attenuated after the release of SDM4.
September 1989 8909.3 Effective 10/1/90, the data carrier will bill Unidata users for the UPC full negotiated rate for all data services with the exception of the Unidata channel. The Unidata channel will be fully subsidized by the UPC.
September 1989 8909.4 The Policy Committee recommended that NSF entertain equipment proposals up to 5% of the total allocated Unidata budget, based on merits of the proposals.
May 1989 No formal resolutions are recorded. The following decisions are cited in the minutes: 8905.1 The committee modified the charge for the Phase IV Implementation Working Group and approved of its membership. The IWG's charge and original membership list are cited in the minutes.
May 1989 8905.2 The committee established the Unidata Broadcast User's Committee and approved of its membership. The User's Committee charge and original membership list are cited in the minutes.
May 1989 8905.3 The committee agreed to a General User's Meeting to be organized cooperatively by the User's Committee and the UPC.
May 1989 8905.4 The committee approved UPC's proposed method for announcing the RFP for an image analysis system.
January 1989 8901.1 The committee required that the UPC provide it with charts, schedules, and milestones as part of its status reports. 8901.2 The committee dissolved the Phase III Implementation Working Group and thanked its members. The committee formed a Phase IV Implementation Working Group, appointed a chairman and a selection committee, and charged the chairman to define the IWG charter and membership.
January 1989 8901.3 The committee appointed a committee to formulate a user's committee.
January 1989 8901.4 The committee endorsed the proposal for Unidata, Purdue, and IBM to collaborate on an effort to allow AIX to become a supported Unidata platform.
January 1989 8901.5 The UPC should limit its involvement with GEMPAK to three person-months per year (i.e., expend no more than 2% of its resources on supporting this product).
January 1989 8901.6 The committee adopted the IWG recommendation that the UPC no longer distribute or support any version of NCAR Graphics and adopt the UNIGRAPH plan.
January 1989 8901.7 The Policy Committee will meet quarterly: February, May, August, and November.
October 1988 8810.1 The UPC should continue training end-user scientists as well as site managers for the SDM system. 8810.2 The UPC should begin to develop plans for annual users meetings.
October 1988 8810.3 The Policy Committee accepted and endorsed the UPC's software policy [which distinguishes comprehensive, moderate, and minimal levels of support] and the criteria for evaluating software.
October 1988 8810.4 The Policy Committee endorsed the goal of making GEMPAK available to the community with a system of "buddy" support.
October 1988 8810.5 The Policy Committee adopted the Unidata membership policy [as recommended in a strawman proposal, highlighted in the minutes,.wherein the UPC director was floating possible mechanisms for providing Unidata with self-sufficiency].
June 1988 The following information was excerpted from recommendations made by the Policy Committee to the UCAR president after this meeting. 8806.1 The Policy Committee recommended that UCAR develop a plan to ensure that Unidata become self-supporting, completely if possible, but at least for all functions except software development. [Specific actions to promote this are given in the Action Items summary created for the October 1988 meeting. This was a result of prompting by the NSF.]
June 1998 8806.2 The Policy Committee recommended against convening a panel to compare the ESD and Wisconsin systems. Instead, the committee reaffirmed the current collaborative arrangement with the University of Wisconsin.
June 1988 8806.3 The Policy Committee recommended that Unidata continue as an entity separate from NCAR at lease through Phase IV.
June 1988 8806.4 The Policy Committee agreed to forming a new Phase IV Policy Committee.
March 1988 The following information was excerpted from the recommendation made by the Policy Committee to the UCAR president after this meeting and from a summary of action items. 8803.1 The Policy Committee strongly advocated the propagation of Unidata technology and products to the precollege community through active publicity and demonstration programs. They requested that UCAR and NSF actively investigate mechanisms for accomplishing this outside of the existing UPC structure.
July 1987 Based on action item summary. 8707.1 Must finalize negotiations with NASA over GEMPAK immediately; set deadline for NASA MOU of 7/31. The integration of GEMPAK and LDM must be thoroughly tested; UPC should be distributing the software by second quarter 1988.
July 1987 8707.2 The UPC needs a concrete definition of Phase III goals so that it is clear when the phase is completed.
July 1987 8707.3 The Policy Committee encouraged cooperation with PROFS, while emphasizing that the cooperation should not cost the UPC.
July 1987 8707.4 UPC director should negotiate a one-year extension to the Zephyr contract.
July 1987 8707.5 The Policy Committee endorsed the supplemental budget and amended the Phase IV budget. The latter was declared to be an absolute minimum.
May 1987 The following information was excerpted from a draft summary of the meeting. 8705.1 Zephyr contract: alter contract to cover dish installation and reception.
May 1987 8705.2 GEMPAK: NASA MOU scheduled for May 12; there are problems due to copyright issues.
May 1987 8705.3 Phase IV: need to form satellite data working group to investigate digital image data.
May 1987 8705.4 Budget shortfalls will mean development slipages.
May 1987 8705.5 UPO should investigate collaborations with NSFnet, IRIS, USAN, CYPRESS.
May 1987 8705.6 Unidata Phase III Goals & Plans Document endorsed.
"Huffman Matrix" (October 1987-February 1988)
APPLICATION MATRIX AND POSSIBLE SOURCES
George J. Huffman
10 February 1988
(minor editorial modifications by Ben Domenico April 8, 1988)
The numbers in the matrix indicate the priority of the item. Note that the items are listed by priority later in the document.
KEY TO DATA MANIPULATION (needed in preparation for column's function on the data type if not already in that form)
KEY TO SOURCES
Lower case means means that the site has such software, but it lacks some functionality or has other limitations.
First Generation | Functions for computing Unidata Ingest | * * * * new variables * * * * Decoded Data Type | A B C D E F G H I J K -------------------|----------------------------------------------------- NMC grids | 2n 3 1US 3US 3 2US 3US 3uS 2S 2uS Surface obs (SAO) | 2NPS 2S 3S 3S 2S 2S Upper air (Rawin) | 2nPS 2Ps 2MPS 3S 3 2 3S 3S 2S 2S Ship data + | 2S 2S 3S 3S 2S 2S Satellite images + | 3 2 3P Radar images + | 3 2P 3P Radar summary + | 3 3 2 3 2 3 Profiler + | 2 2P 3 3 2 3 3 2 2 First Generation | Data UNIDATA Ingest | * * * Display Routines * * * Decoded Data Type | L M N O P Q R S T -------------------|------------------------------------------- NMC grids | 1nUS 2 3n 3n 3 1U 3nS 1nS 3 Surface obs (SAO) | 1NPS 2P 3S 2 3nS 1NMPS Upper Air (Rawin) | 1NPS 2P 1NPS 2MPS 3P 2 3nS 1NMPS 2P Ship data + | 1nS 2 2 3S 1nMS Satellite images + | 2P Radar images + | 2P Radar summary + | 2 2P Profiler + | 2 2 2 3 2 3 1P 2P Derived data | 1nPS 2 2NS 3 2 3NS 1PS 3 + these data types will require additional decoders.
New Mexico depends on Unix-like filtering and "standard in/out" files which are potentially troublesome on VMS. There is relatively little time to do detailed upgrades to Unidata standards.
Miami claims good upper air and SYNOP (includes ship) decoders. Also, they include aircraft XXAA reports over the ocean in the upper airs. The crossection program has been developed by a leader in isentropic analysis. There is some interest in doing migrations to Unidata data formats.
Purdue has a strong emphasis on portable, standard code, and claims a high likelihood that interfacing with the Unidata data formats is straightforward.
Penn. State has the oldest system, with the largest selection of applications. The state of the code is dependent on how recently it has been upgraded, but some system dependencies remain. There is some interest in doing migrations to Unidata data formats.
Utah has developed NMC grid programs as a complement to GEMPAK. The software is relatively new and system dependent; there is little time for doing detailed upgrades to Unidata standards without funding.
The table entries still conceal a great deal of detail about specific parameters needed for computation, and what the specific output variables are. Likewise, the details of data access and user interface have been rigorously ignored. Finally, issues of software rights and manpower sources have not been addressed here.
NARRATIVE FORM OF PRIORITY LIST
HIGHEST PRIORITY (System doesn't make sense without these)
Kinematic parameters (div., vort., etc.) on NMC grids
Contours of NMC grids, surface obs, upper air obs, derived data (and ship data when decoded)
Thermodynamic diagram from upper air obs
"Basic" image display of NMC grids
Data plot at stations or gridpoints of NMC grids, surface obs, upper air obs, derived data (and ship, profiler data when decoded)
INTERMEDIATE PRIORITY (System needs many of these to function well)
Kinematic parameters from surface obs, upper air obs (and ship and profiler data when decoded)
Derived local scalars (such as RH) for NMC grids, surface obs, upper air obs (and ship and profiler data when decoded)
Stability indices from upper air obs
Horizontal remapping (new projection) for NMC grids, upper air obs, (and satellite image, radar image, radar summary, profiler data when decoded)
Time differencing of NMC grids, surface obs, upper air obs (and ship, radar summary, profiler data when decoded)
Advection (V*del(scalar)) on NMC grids, surface obs, upper air obs (and ship and profiler data when decoded)
Contouring of radar summary and profiler data (when decoded)
Streamline analysis on NMC grids, surface obs, upper air obs, derived data (and ship and profiler data when decoded)
Crossection analysis on upper air obs, derived data (and profiler data when decoded)
"Basic" image display from surface obs, upper air obs, derived data (and ship, sat. image, radar image, radar summary, profiler data when decoded)
Hodograms from upper air obs (and profiler data when decoded)
LOWER PRIORITY (Desirable for a complete system)
Derived local scalars from radar summary data (when decoded)
Stability indices from NMC grids
Scalar/vector math functions (e.g., add two fields) on NMC grids, surface obs, upper air obs (and ship, satellite image, radar image, radar summary, profiler data when decoded)
Vertical coodinate transformation (say, to isentropic) for NMC grids, upper air obs (and profiler data when decoded)
Vertical differencing/averaging on NMC grids, upper air obs (and profiler data when decoded)
Horizontal differencing/averaging on NMC grids, surface obs, upper air obs (and ship, radar summary, profiler data when decoded)
Image processing (looping, overlay, etc.) satellite image, radar image, radar summary data (when decoded)
Thermodynamic diagram on NMC grids
Crossectional analysis on NMC grids
Time series displays of NMC grids, surface obs, upper air obs, derived data (and profiler data when decoded)
Parcel trajectories on NMC grids, surface obs, upper air obs, derived data (and ship, profiler data when decoded)
Hodograms from NMC grids, derived data
January 1987 8701.1 The Policy Committee agreed with the IWG recommendation that Unidata establish an electronic bulletin boards for software exchange but that support for it be minimally (no revision control or software support).
January 1987 8701.2 The Policy Committee agreed that the problems with the high rate of error in the satellite broadcast should be resolved within the context of the contractual arrangement between UCAR and Zephyr.
January 1987 8701.3 The Policy Committee agreed that Unidata should focus on supplying digital forms of mapped satellite imagery, not the GOESTAP form.
January 1987 8701.4 The Committee agreed that Unidata must adopt a specific protocol for data broadcast, adequate for error management and for multiplexing several data streams, possibly of differing priorities. Agreement on the protocol must be reached by January 1987.
January 1987 8701.5 Unidata should follow closely the NOAAport developments and attempt to influence those developments so as to maximize their usefulness to the Unidata community.
October 1985 Local Hardware/Software System (LOHSS) Working Group Report
The LOHSS Working Group recommendations were published in a report entitled Unidata Phase II LOHSS WG Report. Given the "broad spectrum of data-analysis-and-display needs [that] exist within the community," the Working Group identified three levels of functionality, from inexpensive, personal computers(Level I, costing about $5,000 per workstation) to high-performance workstations with sophisticated image-processing capabilities (Level III, costing about $80,000 per workstation). Philosophical decisions included:
October 1985 8510.1 "Configuration flexibility is critical to the success of UNIDATA..."
October 1985 8510.2 "Equally critical is that the range of this flexibility extend to low cost, entry level systems suitable for departments with small budgets and no prior experience with the technologies adopted."
October 1985 8510.3 "...a key decision is that UNIDATA take a `toolbox' approach, offering components from which sites and users may configure local hardware and software systems to meet their own specific needs."
October 1985 8510.4 "The UNIDATA philosophy has diverged somewhat from the original goal of developing a three-level hierarchy of interactive systems. An approach has been adopted that complicates the UNIDATA system, but greatly enhances its flexibility and its likelihood of satisfying a broad spectrum of users. Specifically, there will be dual development paths toward the envisioned LOHSS environment: One path will be based on microcomputers of the IBM PC/XT and PC/AT classes running the Microsoft MSDOS operating system. The other path will be based on workstations of the Digital MicroVAX class (or the similar family of Motorola 6800xx based processors) running UNIX or Digital's VMS operating systems."
October 1985 8510.4 "... it is crucial that the local UNIDATA system be easily programmed by students and researchers. That is, even the most comprehensive and efficient set of utilities and applications will be of little value unless users can gain `hands on' access to information from a scientific programming standpoint. Thus, much of the LOHSS software will take the form of user callable subroutines (tools) that perform fundamental tasks or that organize data as simple arrays in conventional programming languages."
October 1985 8510.5 The MSDOS system design ("Path A") will consist of IBM-PC/ATs and /XTs using the McIDAS and WXP interfaces and the McIDAS applications plus "additional packages to extend functionality and/or provide special-purpose capabilities."
October 1985 8510.6 The UNIX/VMS system design ("Path B") will consist of Apollo, Sun, and MicroVax hardware using the TAE interface and GEMPAK/GEMPLT applications.
October 1985 8510.7 UNIDATA communications design will be Ethernet (preferred) or Pronet LANS and software supporting the DARPA protocols suite (including TCP/IP).
October 1985 8510.8 UNIDATA data access design calls for "subroutine or procedure calls to a small set of data access utilities....An important aspect of data access will be the adoption of and strict adherence to a set of data structure standards and usage guidelines...The long term goal is that a number of workstations . . . can all share the resources of the LDM subsystem, whose job is to acquire the data in real time and organize them in standard ways."
October 1985 8510.9 Except for the McIDAS software, UNIDATA graphics will rely on GKS subsystem and on an adaptation of the NCAR graphics package.
October 1985 8510.10 "[There are many unresolved issues, and these] underline the significance of treating UNIDATA as an evolving and dynamic system, adaptable to new and changing technologies, sensitive to user needs and desires, and supportable in a practical and economical way."
Local Data Management Working Group Meeting (10-11 June, 1985). Unidata Questionnaire (May 1985) UNIDATA surveys the universities to gather detailed information on what equipment the institutions had and how that equipment was being used; what data-analysis routines they used and what they would like to have; and whether they would be willing to exchange software with other universities. An analysis of the survey appears in the appendix of the LOHSS Working Group Report (above).
Working groups are formed to set the specifications for a UNIDATA system.
1985 Meeting of the Steering Committee now called the UNIDATA Management Committee. At this meeting the following were agreed upon (from Chris Cooper's UNIDATA Phase III History)
December 1984 NSF proposal funded; Fulker officially hired to direct the Unidata Program.
September 1984 Unidata Phase II proposal resubmitted to NSF. Goals, from the Phase II Plan for Developing a Hierarchy of Interactive Computing Systems for Use at Universities for Research, Teaching, and Local Data Management.
"The UNIDATA project has the objective of providing to the academic community the capability of local interactive analysis of weather data and the results of large computer simulations."
February 1984 Meeting of the UNIDATA Steering Committee:
Resolution: HAVING DISCUSSED the UNIDATA Project and the status of the UNIDATA proposal for Phase II funding, the UNIDATA Steering Committee requests that:
The UNIDATA Steering Committee offers its assistance to UCAR to accomplish these recommendations and, in particular, to revise the UNIDATA proposal consistent with the above recommendations in order to allow it to be resubmitted to the National Science Foundation two weeks following the receipt of the results of the initial peer review process.
Summer/Fall 1983 - Winter 1984 Phase II proposal to NSF drafted, submitted, and rejected.
July 1983 Summary of UNIDATA Phase I Accomplishments (from Appendix I of the Phase II plan, September 1984)
"The UNIDATA effort will not neglect the need to supply weather data to universities but neither will significant effort be put into merely interim solutions, in accordance with the recommendations adopted at the Workshop. . . . In Phase II of the UNIDATA program, the focus will be on the more complex problem of developing a community capability for interactive processing, in which will be embedded the transmission of the needed weather data. Because of the importance to the entire community, we mention here in detail, as discussed at the Workshop, the six key activities of a UNIDATA Interactive Subsystem:
[8307.1] 1) PROVIDE ACCESS to the relevant meteorological data and data bases;
[8307.2] 2) MANAGE the transmission of the data;
[8307.3] 3) TRANSMIT the data through appropriate communications technology;
[8307.4] 4) RECEIVE the data at each local site, MANAGE the local data base;
[8307.5] 5) DEVELOP and MAINTAIN a common interactive software system containing (a) applications programs in general use, and (b) a set of generalized software for storage, retrieval, and presentation of data that is as machine-independent as possible; and
[8307.6] 6) DEVELOP advanced interactive techniques and software through collaborative efforts; TRANSFER results to the common system."
June 1983 From the Ad Hoc UNIDATA Implementation Strategy Committee draft report to the Madison Workshop. Recommended that:
With Mellon Foundation funds for planning, UNIDATA is formed as a UCAR Cooperative University Program with the appointment of a UNIDATA Steering Committee. UCAR surveys its 50 member universities and an additional 40 non-member academic institution s on what data they have, what they want, and the computer equipment they plan to acquire.
Original Concept September - November 1982 From the NSF Perspective (according to Greenfield Diary Note dated September 24, 1982 and Minutes of the NSF Advisory Committee for Atmospheric Sciences meeting of November 3-5, 1982):
After discussions with university personnel, NSF is convinced that UCAR should secure a means of providing current weather data to the universities and should provide interactive data processing capabilities to the academic community.