The Office of Observations (OBS) serves as the primary office responsible for the collection of space, atmosphere, water, and climate observational data owned or leveraged by NWS. The Office is responsible for the development, acquisition and management of cost-effective observing technologies, hardware and software enhancements, maintenance and repairs, logistics, cost management, technical data verification, and life-cycle replacements of NWS observational platforms. The Office leads planning and coordinates with the Office of Analyze, Forecast and Support (AFS) on service requirements, to determine system requirements and technical solutions. It then coordinates with the other NWS portfolios on interdependencies, and allocates resources to select the best mix of executable programs, projects, and activities for the development and enhancement of observational systems. The Office is the focal point within the OBS budget portfolio for portfolio and budget planning, milestone integration and provision of internal controls. The Office manages quality control and IT security of observational data, and serves as the principal management liaison with operational centers and field offices for their observational requirements, performance, and support/sustainment activities. It maintains performance measures for observational platforms and serves as the focal point for coordinating problems and issues with operational observing systems through interaction with operations and data providers. The Office maintains a record of network configurations, and monitors the reporting of station histories. The Office ensures proper logistics and maintenance procedures are in place to sustain operation of fielded observational systems. Observation platforms operated and maintained by the NWS include, but are not limited to, Radar, Buoys, Cooperative and Automated Surface Observing Systems, and Radiosondes. Observation platforms leveraged by the NWS include, but are not limited to, National Mesonets, Profilers, Aircraft, Voluntary Observing Ships (VOS), Satellites, and partner/commercial data.
Radar Operations Center
The Radar Operations Center (ROC) provides life-cycle support for the tri-agency Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) network. It is the engineering center and coordinates operating policies for the Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) and provides centralized management and control of support to fielded equipment operated by the NWS, the U.S. Air Force, and the FAA. The Center is responsible for resolution of technical and operational anomalies and implementation of hardware, software, and algorithm improvements necessary to meet mission requirements for system performance and availability. It identifies technical solutions in response to mission requirements; evaluates, develops, tests, and implements solutions to requests for change; maintains the WSR-88D baseline; and ensures system integrity. The Center coordinates support requirements for fielded systems including field and depot-level maintenance and technical data management with tri-agency engineering and logistics support organizations. It plans and manages near- term technical transfer activities and long-term system improvement work to meet unmet technical needs.
The Program Branch performs WSR-88D baseline hardware and software configuration management functions, generates and issues technical documentation, and manages the modification and retrofit program. It evaluates proposed hardware and software changes for impact to logistics support, system documentation, baseline configuration, cost, and schedule. The Branch builds and deploys all software releases, manages the procurement and deploys all modification kits, provides project tracking and contract monitoring, and resolves WSR-88D safety and environmental issues. It conducts Technical Review Committee and tri-agency Configuration Control Board activities and administers proposed system changes. The Branch develops, validates, publishes, and distributes operations and field/depot-level maintenance technical manuals. It provides information resource management in support of WSR-88D operational data bases
The Engineering Branch provides sustaining engineering to correct deficiencies and address hardware obsolescence. It provides project management for reliability improvements and new technical capabilities changes to the WSR-88D system and associated interfaces. This includes developing engineering change proposals, configuration change requests, technical documentation, and test plans; plus, identifying resource requirements and developing implementation schedules. It maintains design integrity by analyzing, designing, developing, prototyping, integrating, testing, and documenting system changes required to meet user requirements and correct deficiencies. It develops and maintains WSR-88D baseline applications, security and support software. This includes managing the process to define software build content, estimating costs, and conducting preliminary and critical design reviews for software changes. The Branch manages the development and implementation of long-term system improvements to the software and hardware to meet WSR-88D mission needs and security requirements.
Major David McDonald, USAF
The Applications Branch identifies, validates, and implements new operational algorithms to meet new and existing mission requirements; consolidates and prioritizes unmet meteorological algorithm and weather product mission needs; recommends operational applications for emerging technology; develops, tests, optimizes, and validates meteorological algorithms; and optimizes meteorological algorithm adaptable parameter values, and develops techniques to monitor system performance. The Branch manages near-term technical transfer activities and long-term system software improvement work to meet the WSR-88D mission needs; and portions of the Federal Meteorological Handbook, FMH-11.
National Data Buoy Center
The National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) manages the deployment, operations and maintenance of the national data buoy networks. It serves as the NOAA focal point for data buoy and associated meteorological, oceanographic, and environmental monitoring technology. It provides real time high quality meteorological, oceanographic, and other environmental data from automated observing systems that include buoys, fixed observing stations, and mobile observing platforms in the open-ocean and coastal zone surrounding the United States, including NDBC organic platforms as well as partner platforms operated by other government agencies, industry, and academia. It provides engineering support, including technology refresh, and manages data buoy deployment and operations, and installation and operation of automated observing systems installed on fixed and mobile platforms. It operates the NWS operational test facility for all operational marine observations sensor systems. It maintains the capability to support operational and research programs of NOAA and other national and international organizations.
The Engineering Branch provides life-cycle engineering support for NDBC data acquisition and distribution systems. It manages systems engineering, test and integration of new technology into operational ocean observing systems and platforms. It conducts directed engineering analyses for equipment and systems replacement and 19 technology refreshment; evaluates emerging technologies; and assesses their potential application to long-term operation in the marine environment. It manages the structured process to transfer new equipment or capabilities into the operational network. The Branch performs environmental studies to improve data quality control processes and application of NDBC data in NWS operations.
The Operations Branch manages operation of the NDBC industrial facilities; and plans, and manages, and executes the NDBC buoy and fixed station operations and maintenance. The Branch serves as liaison and coordinates activities between NDBC, NOAA OMAO, and the US Coast Guard (USCG) or other entities providing marine, air, and other mission support services to NDBC. The Branch controls system production/fabrication activities and schedules, and integrates components into complete, deployment ready, operational observing systems. Similarly, the Branch determines which class of system is suitable for deployment based upon the requirements of the location. It identifies system problems and initiates corrective efforts. It coordinates and executes plans for operational test and evaluation (OT&E) of NDBC observing systems and sensors. It provides external project liaison, coordinates project activities, and evaluates whether project requirements are being met.
The Resources Branch manages and coordinates current year planning, finance, procurement support, facilities support, telecommunications support, personnel support, and coordinates public outreach. It executes current year budget processes and assists in the preparation of out-year budgets. The Branch coordinates funding priorities, prepares and monitors financial plans and budgets, develops current year program documentation, and represents the NDBC to NWS on current year budget matters. It is the interface between NDBC, and other government agencies and NOAA elements as directed for program support and services. It is the focal point for facilities management, office equipment, and other equipment to support the operational network. It provides inventory management, vehicle management, and field service logistics. It manages the NDBC safety and environmental compliance programs.
The Mission Control Branch executes collection, monitoring, quality control, and timely delivery of high quality environmental observations to NWS field offices, NOAA modeling centers such as NCEP, NOAA archival centers, and NDBC’s other partners, and to NWS headquarters for dissemination. The branch’s Mission Control Center 20 (MCC), a 24/7/365 operational command & control center, maintains situational awareness of the operational status of NDBC’s buoy observing networks, and human and environmental activity within those networks. The branch manage, maintains, and operates the information resources, data processing and quality control systems, and Information Technology (IT) systems that support the tightly integrated operations and maintenance teams comprised of the MCC watch-standers, operational teams, and engineering teams that work around the clock when deployed in the field. The MCC also manages sensor test and evaluation for all NDBC deployed sensors.
Surface and Upper Air Division
Neal Dipasquale (acting)
The Division manages the development, operations, and maintenance of national surface and upper air systems. It consists of program management, services management, evaluation management, and logistics management. The management of programs will consist of end-to- end lifecycle management of current and future surface and upper air observational systems or platforms. The services management will focus on the engineering, maintenance, and configuration management needs for surface and upper air observation systems. The evaluation management manages quality control of surface and upper air observations equipment. The logistics management will ensure proper sustainment and operations of field observational systems.
Mark B Miller
The Program Management Branch serves the primary function for providing life-cycle management of surface and upper air observing systems and related computer processing systems. It is responsible for the management of operational implementation and commissioning of new observing and related computer systems, enhancements to existing systems, and decommissioning of systems. The Branch develops policies and procedures for ensuring an effective transition of these systems into field operations. It maintains performance measures regarding operation of field systems, and serves as the focus for coordinating problems and issues with operational observing systems through interaction with Regional, Field, and HQ units. The Branch will ensure a cadre of Federal Acquisition Certification (FAC) certified Program Managers are available to support programs and projects managed by the Branch. The Branch will also include the necessary expertise and capabilities to support the Program Manager’s responsibilities for providing program reporting (presentations, performance monitoring, Exhibit 300s, etc).
The Services Branch is responsible for the engineering; hardware and software sustainment; and configuration management for surface and upper air observation systems.
The engineering function establishes measured performance baselines for the operational employment of atmospheric and surface sensors and data collection devices; conducts design feasibility and functional analyses; renders specialized seasonal and regional assistance. Existing equipment designs are modified to increase operating personnel safety, reduce preventive maintenance and corrective maintenance actions, and lower life-cycle performance variations. In support of modernization and sustaining surface and upper air programs, the Branch conducts engineering analyses to translate operational methodologies or meteorological requirements into technical descriptions for new electro-mechanical systems, or enhancements to existing systems. Analyses form the basis for program formulation and acquisition strategies.
The hardware and software sustainment function establishes NWS and multi-agency wide hardware and software maintenance policies and directives; monitors the performance of NWS systems maintenance programs; manages the systems maintenance quality assurance program; writes specifications for contract maintenance; and provides oversight on maintenance contracts including conducting computer-based maintenance modeling, trade off and cost-benefit studies, and in-house versus contract support analyses. The software sustainment function provides technical software services in support of NWS field operations, including development of software enhancements and maintenance fixes for existing NWS surface and upper air systems; development support for new software systems; and providing software technical support to field users, and general user software support.
The configuration management function maintains configuration baseline information for operational surface and upper air systems according to national configuration management policies and guidance established by the Office of Planning and Programming for Service Delivery. The Branch maintains a record of network configurations, and monitors the reporting of station histories and manages configuration management policy, reviews configuration changes, supports and performs baseline documentation validation, performs site-specific impact analysis of proposed changes, assures proper identification schemes are applied, and validates changes through audit processes. This team operates and maintains the Engineering Management Reporting System and the Configuration Management Information System.
Peggy Hoch (acting)
The Evaluation Branch is responsible for systems operations support and site systems management activities and provides operations requirements for planned improvements to field systems. It provides support for Development Test, System Test, and Operational Test and Evaluation, as well as deployment and direct field support for surface and upper air observations. It develops operating standards, procedures, and documentation; manages quality control of surface and upper air observations. The Branch designs, develops, maintains, and documents software for NWS field operational surface and upper air weather systems and develops special equipment and network systems applications. It also provides support for training for surface and upper air observations to the field and new equipment. It provides international support for the NWS for surface and upper air observations.
Logistics Management Branch
The Logistics Branch provides overall management of the NWS logistics program. Responsibilities include developing national logistics policy and guidance; integrated logistics support planning for new systems; inventory management; procurement initiation; repair ordering; cataloging; source, maintenance, and recovery coding; modifications; customer support and obsolescence programs. It implements computerized systems that interface with military and Governmental systems for logistics data, parts issues, parts receipts and funds transfers. The Branch is the NWS focal point for multi- agency logistics management and serves as a designated Primary Inventory Control Activity (PICA) for the Department of Defense and the Federal Aviation Administration on NEXRAD and ASOS programs.
The National Reconditioning Center provides depot-level repair, reconditioning, and modifications; conducts quality assurance testing, inspection, and acceptance for depot stock. It ensures essential logistics stock of the National Weather Service is made available in a cost-effective manner for issue to National Weather Service field offices, the U.S. Military, and Federal Aviation Administration. The Center provides logistics and depot maintenance planning for proposed systems, and provides complete logistics management and supply support for all operational systems. It maintains operations in the following areas: technical support of automatic test equipment and computer support systems; procurement and accounting for purchases of new items and repair services; staging operations for equipment processing and distribution; and performs engineering studies and cost analyses.
The Technical Inspection and Material Reception Team provides quality assurance testing, technical inspection and material receipt acceptance for all NWS equipment and supplies intended for warehouse stock. The team ensures technical stock meets procurement specifications and functional requirements of the NWS including accuracy requirements. It is the point of Government acceptance for newly purchased or contractor repaired/reconditioned stock. The team maintains a laboratory with field equipment, special chambers, and general test equipment. It prepares quality assurance and technical inspection procedures; performs technical studies on deficiencies; and recommends actions for specification or engineering changes.
The Weather Systems Repair Team provides depot level repair, reconditioning and modification of NWS field equipment or weather equipment of the Department of Transportation to restore it to like new operating condition. The Team performs equipment shipping and receiving, inventory management and tracking, warranties tracking, equipment excessing and first-look maintenance functions for equipment that may be contractor repaired. It conducts studies to determine most cost-effective approaches to in-house or contract repair. The Team maintains a laboratory with test beds, general test equipment and Automatic Test Equipment for effecting repairs. It develops depot level repair procedures, including Automatic Test Procedures. It identifies and investigates high failure rate components, tests and develops proposed engineering enhancements, and makes cost-effective recommendations for replacing/enhancing the components.
The NEXRAD Repair Team provides depot level repair, reconditioning and modification of NWS Doppler weather radar equipment or similar equipment used by the Departments of Defense and Transportation to restore it to like new operating condition. Test equipment used in support of NWS field operations is repaired and calibrated on a contract basis. The Team provides first-look maintenance for equipment that may be contractor repaired. Studies are conducted to determine the most cost-effective approach for repair, i.e. in-house versus contract repair. The Team maintains a laboratory with test beds, general test equipment and extensive Automatic Test Equipment for effecting repairs. It develops depot level repair procedures, including Automatic Test Procedures. It identifies and investigates high failure rate components, tests and develops proposed engineering enhancements, and makes cost-effective recommendations for replacing/enhancing the components.
Steven Michnick (acting)
The National Logistics Support Center (NLSC) is a multi-agency support organization. Through Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), it provides technical logistics support to agencies within the Departments of Commerce and Agriculture and other agencies as required. Emergency shipping, project distribution and other services are provided to DOC and USDA field sites at locations world-wide. NLSC provides highly technical logistical support of equipment spares, critical to the diverse missions of the participating agencies. It is a reimbursable organization which depends solely on user agency funds for an efficient, cost-effective operation.