The Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation (JCSDA) was established by NASA and NOAA in 2001, with Department of Defense (DoD) agencies becoming partners in 2002. The goal of JCSDA is to accelerate the use of observations from Earth-orbiting satellites in operational environmental analysis and prediction models for the purpose of improving weather, ocean, climate, and air quality forecasts and the accuracy of climate datasets. Advanced instruments of current and planned satellite missions do and will increasingly provide large volumes of data related to the atmospheric, oceanic, and land surface state. During this decade, this will result in a five order of magnitude increase in the volume of data available for use by the operational and research weather, ocean, and climate communities. These data will exhibit accuracies and spatial, spectral, and temporal resolutions never before achieved. JCSDA will help ensure that the maximum benefit from investment in the space-based global observation system is realized. JCSDA will accelerate the use of satellite data from both operational and experimental spacecraft for weather and climate prediction systems. To this end, the advancement of data assimilation science by JCSDA has included the establishment of the JCSDA Community Radiative Transfer Model (CRTM), which has continual upgrades to allow for the effective use of current and many future satellite instruments. This and other activity within JCSDA have been supported by both internal and external (generally university based) research. Another key activity within JCSDA has been to lay the groundwork for and to establish common NWP model and data assimilation infrastructure for accessing new satellite data and optimizing the use of these data in operational models. As a result of this activity, common assimilation infrastructure has been established at NOAA and NASA and this will assist in a coordinated and integrated move to four-dimensional assimilation among the partner agencies.

This paper discusses the establishment of JCSDA and its mission, goals, and science priorities. It also discusses recent advances made by JCSDA, and planned future developments.

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Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation, NOAA Science Center, Camp Springs, and ESSIC, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, Maryland

NOAA/NWS/NCEP NOAA Science Center, Camp Springs, Maryland

NASA GSFC GMAO, Greenbelt, Maryland

NOAA/NESDIS/STAR, NOAA Science Center, Camp Springs, Maryland

Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey, California

NOAA/OAR, NOAA Headquarters, Silver Spring, Maryland

NOAA/NWS/EMC, NOAA Science Center, Camp Springs, Maryland