NOAA WEB SITE PROVIDES HUGE INVENTORY OF EARTH OBSERVING SYSTEMS
Feb. 14, 2005 ó Obtaining information on each of NOAA's observing systems just became easier with the NOAA Observing System Architecture, or NOSA, Web site. NOAA has been monitoring the Earth's environment for more than 30 years with tens of thousands of sensors in more than 100 observing systems—ranging from satellites to marine sonars to human observations of marine mammal populations. Before NOAA developed the new Web site, it did not have a comprehensive description of all of its observing systems. Now, the agency is providing this information in a one-stop Web site. (Click NOAA image for larger view of NOAA Observing System Architecture, or NOSA, Web site. Click here to view high resolution version, which is a large file. Please credit “NOAA.”)
Following an internal program recommendation, NOAA initiated its first-ever comprehensive review of all of its observing systems and their interrelationships. This activity was termed the baseline NOAA Observing Systems Architecture. NOAA constructed the baseline NOSA with the assistance of all observing system managers within NOAA. The agency identified 99 observing systems measuring more than 500 different environmental parameters. Forty of these were termed "operational" by their program managers.
The NOSA Web site was designed to provide information that is useful both to the managers of observing systems within NOAA and to the user who wants to know more about NOAA's mission and the environmental parameters it is monitoring and where. The main focus of the site is the ‘Featured Observing System.’ Each month a NOAA Observing System will be featured with a description and links to the site for the user to learn more about that system. The left-hand side of the new Web site contains detailed information about the NOSA project and related documents, which describe architecture, programs, and requirements for the projects and the observing systems.
The geospatial information of more than 80 of these observing systems was collected into a geospatial database with the assistance of the observing system managers. This database forms the basis for the geospatial capabilities of the Web site. NOSA presents the data in several different ways.
NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nationís coastal and marine resources. NOAA is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
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