Dissemination of near-real time data in the GRUAN

Anna Kuhn wrote:

There is a discussion, if we want an Action Item on the possibility of dissemination of near-real time data in the GRUAN Implementation Plan. From my point of view, NRT data dissemination could be done by one or a combination the following options:

  • Send data via the GTS, in BUFR (preferably), alphanumeric or CREX code. It has to be clarified, whether
    • all (current and future) GRUAN stations are already part of the GTS and could use their national standards, or
    • if the GRUAN data archive would be connected to the GTS, or
    • if the Lead Centre would collect and transfer the NRT data.
  • Send data via email to a GTS centre. (often used as back up)
  • Post NRT data as RSS. Users could subscribe for example on the GRUAN website.

What’s your opinion on this matter or do you have more information about the sites and their existing connections to the GTS?

One Response to Dissemination of near-real time data in the GRUAN

  1. Holger Vömel says:

    I am rather opposed to sending GRUAN data through the GTS in near real time. There are a bunch of aspects against that, but let me list what I think:

    The requirements for GRUAN are

    – Long term climate monitoring
    – Satellite validation
    – Full description of the atmospheric column

    Neither of these requirements needs near real time data access. I am also quite concerned that if we aimed at near real time data, we would be wasting precious resources. Several stations are not set up to handle data through the GTS. Boulder and Lauder are not, ARM only for routine radiosonde data. Howard University and Potenza don’t even have a routine launch program, they still have to build this up. Lindenberg and many other GRUAN sites don’t have any expertise in working with the BUFR format. Since we have already settled that GRUAN will provide data in NCDF, this would simply mean a duplication in efforts. The BUFR format is extremely resource intensive, and thus this would not be an easy add on.

    The last headache I have with near real time data is that the real important aspect of GRUAN, i.e. uncertainty estimates, simply cannot be done in near real time. For the best quality reference data we will need time to make sure that the data are at the level we would like them to be.

    However, those stations that are connected to the GTS and record data in an operational manner, should continue sending their data through the GTS as they currently do. It’s just that these data will not have the full GRUAN processing that we are envisioning.

    In short, GRUAN is not required to provide data in near real time and doing so will most likely eat up a lot of valuable resources, of which we have precious little.

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