Through the Atmosphere: Winter 2015 Director’s Note

January 6, 2015 | Sarah Witman
CIMSS Director Steve Ackerman

CIMSS Director Steve Ackerman

Each story in this issue demonstrates our commitment to exploring the atmosphere and environment, and using our discoveries to benefit society. SSEC’s historic contribution to the 1959 Explorer 7 mission is early evidence of this process. In the years since, SSEC has played important roles in our nation’s weather satellite programs, from designing instruments, to generating and analyzing data, and, ultimately, helping people understand and make use of the information.

This research-to-operations (R2O) approach continues with the next geostationary weather satellite program — GOES-R. SSEC and CIMSS scientists are working with our NOAA partners to develop techniques to transform satellite observations into useful information about the atmosphere to support decision-making.

The next generation of weather satellites will bring improved technologies, some of which were developed at SSEC. New analysis methods for atmospheric motion vectors build on earlier SSEC studies. We are also researching the new capabilities of the super rapid scan operations (SRSO-R) mode on GOES-14.

Our long history of producing and distributing high-quality research products was recently recognized by the American Meteorological Society’s Special Award to the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones Group. In addition, our legacy of software development and distribution extends from the ITPP to today’s CSPP. While our work with NOAA and the weather communities spans decades, we are establishing collaborations with the USGS, FEMA, and the UW Sea Grant Institute, to expand our R2O successes.

Young scientists and graduate students play a key role in our research and the future of SSEC and CIMSS as organizations. Read about the achievements of one of these students, Jacola Roman, in this issue. Our Education and Public Outreach programs are magnets tailor-made for younger scientists — from middle school to high school.

SSEC and CIMSS were founded during exciting scientific times. Looking ahead, our future holds new opportunities and challenges, leading to new discoveries for the benefit of society.

by Steve Ackerman

The current issue of Through the Atmosphere, Winter 2015, may be found here.