Unidata Users Committee Meeting Summary

18-19 October 2010
Boulder , Colorado


Members Attending

Tom Whittaker, Univ of Wisc-Madison-Space Science & Engineering Center, Chair
Francina Dominguez, Univ of Arizona
Bill Gallus, Iowa State
Anne T. Case-Hanks, Univ of Louisiana, Monroe
Brendon Hoch, Plymouth State Univ
Steve Lazarus, Florida Institute of Technology
Patrick Market, Univ of Missouri-Columbia
Larry Oolman, Univ of Wyoming
Kevin Tyle, Univ of Albany

Student Rep:
Stefan Cecelski, Univ of Maryland

NCEP Reps:
Becky Cosgrove (CONDUIT)
Michelle Mainelli (GEMPAK-NAWIPS/AWIPS II)

Richard Signell

UPC Staff Attending

Tina Campbell
John Caron
Julien Chastang
Ethan Davis
Doug Dirks
Ben Domenico
Steve Emmerson
Ginger Emery
Dennis Heimbigner
Michael James
Yuan Ho
Robb Kambic

Brian Kelly
Linda Miller
Terry Mitchell
Mohan Ramamurthy
Russ Rew
Mike Schmidt
Jeff Weber
Tom Yoksas

Next Users Committee Meeting 11-12 April 2011

Acronym List

Monday, 18 October 2010

Meeting Agenda 18-19 October 2010

Action Items from 18-19 October meeting

Administrative Items:

PolComm Report- Mohan Ramamurthy and Tom Whittaker

The April 15-16 meeting in Arlington had an emphasis on climate. The Deputy Director, Chet Koblinsky, of NOAA's climate services gave an overview of NOAA climate services. Curtis Marshall, NOAA, provided a presentation on the Network of Networks. The Mesonet program has 6M to spend this year and 18M next year.

Director’s Report
- Mohan Ramamurthy

This year UCAR and NCAR are celebrating its 50th anniversary. COMET is celebrating their 20th anniversary and Unidata celebrated their 25th anniversary last year. Jeff Weber has coordinated Unidata's participation in the outreach activities associated with the UCAR 50th Anniversary Open House.

Mohan provided some highlights from the status reports.

There was a question pertaining to Unidata's budget and status. Mohan said that all areas are green; exception staffing.
Community relations - GEMPAK transition to AWIPS II needs additional emphasis and updates. Discussion below rendered an action item for Michelle Mainelli to provide a monthly status report for the community.

The budget has been tight, but Unidata is doing better now due to funding for the coming year which was received earlier than usual from NSF. Planning for coming years is difficult. Each government agency has been asked to figure out a budget with cuts by 5%. Each program should plan for this scenario, in the event that it comes to fruition. The NOAA Climate Service has been approved, but no budget has been provided for them to go forward. A Continuing Resoluton (CR) for FY 2011 appropriations may go into affect for the entire year.

The question of survey responses was discussed briefly:

Status Reports:

ACTION 1. Doug Dirks will collaborate with Rich Signell on case studies and ocean use of Unidata tools for the E-letter.

ACTION 2: UPC will continue to explore tools for tracking of support, bugs, etc. to allow visibility by the user community.

Barbara Ransom, NSF visitor to Unidata, suggested that it is important to have university collaborators who are familiar with the project/program on panels at NSF. Upon proposal submission, give a list of names for the panel to Barbara. NSF reviews are written by panels.  Proposal PI's should always talk to the program officer directly before sending the proposal.  You know who your audience is. Remember that the Panel does not decide, but they provide the information to NSF to contribute toward the decision.

AWIPS II (same presentation for UserComm and PolComm) - Michelle Mainelli

Michelle covered the current status of the migration from GEMPAK/NAWIPS to AWIPS II

There is a new GIS project at NCEP to create one stop shop to access GIS/format data in KML, shape files create a place to access GIS format data. Whatever data format they use will be OGC compliant. Suggestions welcome.

Action 3:  Michelle Mainelli will provide monthly status updates from NWS/NCEP to post on the web site to keep the Unidata community apprised of the latest activities regarding GEMPAK/NAWIPS migration

There was a question regarding training on AWIPS II. A week-long training course will take place for NWS sysadmin. Michael and others from Unidata will be invited. The test bed will also be open to Unidata for training purposes.

Discussion: The idea is to have two instances of EDEX; one for case studies and one real time. Decoders will be written to the EDEX data base. Will not have cross section capability immediately, but will eventually be added.

Michael provided a demo. D2D is not installed. NMAP perspective is what is used by Michael. The HDF 5 content is not necessarily complete. It will offer a good way to do case studies, but will not be ready on day one. There is no KML capability yet.

CONDUIT - Becky Cosgrove

Highlights from Becky's presentation include:

There are 58 GB of data per day flowing through CONDUIT. NCEP has upgraded the LDM and GribInsert utility on CONDUIT. There are three CONDUIT servers at NOAA/Space Weather Center in Boulder. The servers feed NOMADS for model data.
Some recent additions are:

Available data - RUC 18 hr is available. EMC has information posted on the models and listings. We need to send an email to the community list soliciting what they want, and what they are willing to give up. The systems at the WOC need an upgrade for more memory to comply with more data needs. The Climate Forecast System will be available January 2011.

ACTION 4: Becky will provide the descriptions, what’s available and will include URLs for information and sample products.

Blue Sky Session: Tom Whittaker, all

This session is meant to provide input to the Unidata technical staff on future ideas and dreams from the committee members. Here's a list:

Demo of next generation LDM - Steve Emmerson

Steve provided a brief demo of where the next LDM is going. Currently, it is being designed as a publish/subscribe model, organizing the data into files and breaking the files into pieces. It will have Bit Torrent like dynamic routing capabilities and is being developed in Java.

Action 5:   UserComm members will send sample GEMPAK scripts to a RAMADDA repository  to aid Unidata in identifying what is missing with IDV. If not sufficient, then solicit input from the gembud list.

Yuan should follow up with CMA person to see how he creates all of the PNG image files in 6 minutes.

Exposing workflow from IDV would be useful.

Survey Discussion: All

The results need to be distributed to the community, but they need to be analyzed thoroughly first.

The next steps are to consolidate the results and send the information to the community via E-letter.

Several approaches were discussed; even the idea of resending the survey to gather additional information. The decision was made to forego additional steps to making the survey available again, and to use the information received to date.

Comments (without personal attribution) need to be included to allow the community to see what others are thinking, and to view the general trends and perceptions within the community. The information needs to be organized and published in the newsletter, along with the next steps that will be taken by the UPC. There are many changes noted since the last survey nearly 10 years ago. One of these is the high number of users who depicted themselves as researchers over educators.

Ideas were shared among the committee and staff on next steps. Some of the points made were:

Communication needs to be enhanced on all of these issues.

Lightning Data – Mohan, et al

NLDN - SUNY-Albany (Univ of Albany)-Vaisala data has been flowing to about 60 universities without problems for a long time. The data stopped flowing on Sept 1. There were technical changes made at Vaisala which required changes at SUNY-Albany. Dave Knight and Tom Yoksas are working through these changes which are still underway, but will be completed soon.

USPLN-Chris Herbster stepped forward to facilitate the connection (another point-to-point connection) to the USPLN. We are hoping that Chris will continue to be the focal point for the global USPLN data for the community.

USPLN data is flowing-WSI to see if universities can gain access to global-one hour delayed data.  Both data streams are only for research and education and no rebroadcasting is permitted.

Numerous action items stemmed from the general discussion. They are:

Action 6:  Tom Whittaker will draft a letter to WSI indicating that it is preferred to have the global data in real time, rather than with a 60 minute delay.  This will be brought to the Policy Committee and requested that it be co-signed.
Action 7:  Doug Dirks will provide an E-letter article about the lightning data.
Action 8:  DeSouza Award solicitation should provide the template for nominations. 
Action 9:  Anne Case-Hanks, Kevin Tyle, and Patrick Market are going to go through the survey comments, group them for  the UPC so they can provide responses (grouping to be provided to UPC by 1 November)
Action 10:  Tom Whittaker will draft a letter to David Knight thanking him for working through the issues related to NLDN data distribution, and the past 14 years of data provision.
Action 11:  Send Michelle Mainelli an email about what GIS data (via a web interface) they would like to get from NWS, and in what format.
Action 12: Tom Whittaker will work with Jennifer Oxelson to get the graphs and text from the survey to send to the community.

Linda Miller
Community Services - Unidata
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
P.O. Box 3000
Boulder, CO 80307-3000
303 497-8646 fax: 303 497-8690