What is a Proving Ground?

An effort to improve NOAA services through optimizing the use of satellite data along with other sources of data and information. The initiatives comprise a team of developers and users working together to improve an application in a testbed environment, providing assessments of utility from the users and feedback to the developers. (Source:

“Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 provide nearly hourly observations of the Arctic, providing critical information for monitoring, analyzing, and forecasting, in an otherwise data sparse region. Relevant JPSS products include ice age/thickness, ice concentration, ice surface temperature, and snow cover and depth.”
GINA provides Direct Broadcast satellite data to CIMSS developers for production of experimental ice products and hosts a web page to provide access to these products in GeoTiff format.
“The Aviation Initiative and Alaska Cloud Demonstration showcases the application of JPSS products in addressing forecast challenges related to aviation hazards such as clouds, icing, turbulence, and cold air aloft, to pilots and forecasters.”

GINA produces CLAVR-X products from Direct Broadcast satellite data and distributes them to NWS via LDM for viewing in AWIPS. CLAVR-X products are also made available in GeoTiff format on a dedicated web page for access by non-AWIPS users.

“A fire event can have far-reaching impact on the environment, including ecosystem change, and permanently altered landscapes. Fires affect weather, climate, and atmospheric composition. Smoke emissions affect air quality and represent a major health hazard. Since 2014, the Fire and Smoke Initiative has been a forum for users and developers to interact to optimize the operational application of satellite capabilities.”

GINA provides timely and high resolution VIIRS fIre detection data from Direct Broadcast to the Alaska Fire Service for monitoring fire activity. Also special RGB imagery products for fire monitoring are provided to AFS, NWS and other users via web portals and via LDM for AWIPS.

“Understanding oceans, coasts, inland water, and near shore physical and biological processes, is critical to NOAA’s mission including extreme weather forecasting, ecological forecasting, ecosystem based fisheries management, navigation and safety of life at sea. This Initiative supports use of VIIRS Sea Surface Temperature (SST), VIIRS Ocean Color Radiometry (OCR) and VIIRS imagery along with other complementary data as needed to advance NOAA’s and partners’ mission.”

GINA is now generating SSTs in near real-time from VIIRS, MODIS, and AVHRR imagery data (when skies are clear).

“Polar-orbiting and geostationary weather satellites provide real-time tools for ice and flood detection and mapping using visible, infrared (IR), and composite high-resolution data that are helping forecasters better determine where and when flooding will occur. Together, these satellite datasets and other spatial data (e.g., streams, digital elevation models, roads, etc.) are making it possible to provide detailed flood analyses and forecast tools.”
GINA provides a dedicated server and Direct Broadcast data to the River Ice and Flood developers (CIMSS, GMU- Sanmei Li, CCNY – Naira Couch) for production of River Flood and River Ice products. These products are distributed via LDM to NWS for AWIPS.
“Satellite soundings are vital for pre-convective forecasting on 1-2 hour timescales, especially when conventional observations are unavailable. The Sounding Initiative focuses on improving quality, availability, and application of NOAA operational sounding products, such as the NOAA Unique Combined Atmospheric Processing System (NUCAPS) and Microwave Integrated Retrieval System (MiRS).”
GINA produces NUCAPS soundings from Direct Broadcast and distributes them to NWS offices for use in AWIPS. GINA monitors sounding data and provides feedback to developers.
“The JPSS program is committed to ensuring that the NOAA’s and partners’ user communities are prepared to optimize the use of JPSS satellite capabilities in their response to weather and environmental challenges. Training is critical to forecasters, researchers, and other users to ensure effective use of JPSS capabilities in NOAA operations. The initiative responds to training requests from NOAA and its partners and provides tailored quick guides, modules, training courses, and other training material to address these requests and any training gaps and unmet needs.”
GINA has contributed Quick Guides, videos, and helped to produce other training material on the use of JPSS products.