System Aspects Expert Team Work Plan 2008-2009


The focus of the System Aspects Expert Team over the timescale 2008-2009 will be solely on the SRNWP Interoperability programme. Each consortium will be required to complete software coding and fully document their procedures and practices in these matters. This is expected to progress under the guidance of the expert team members from each consortium and under the coordination of the SRNWP Interoperability Programme Manager. The deliverables for the Expert Team will be those for the Interoperability programme, namely:
D1: A report documenting the standard output format and including a list of parameters for which the output format is to be applied. An initial plan for ongoing maintenance of the standard will be provided. The standard format will not preclude the addition of processed observation information at a later date. The deadline for agreement of this format is the end of May 2009.

D2: Documentation describing the requirements and specification for the adaptor software (hereafter adaptors). This document will include identification of the methods that can be used for implementing the adaptors and for maintenance of the software in connection with the consortia. The UK Met Office will coordinate the work in consultation with the global model providers and the consortia. The aim is to complete this work by the end of August 2009.

D3: Four 2-way adaptors that transform the output from every LAM (hereafter LAM) to the standard output format and vice versa. Documentation will also be provided. Each consortium will be responsible for the provision of the 2-way adaptor to convert between the output format of its LAM and the standard output format.

Discussion of more ambitious outcomes will be required as the Interoperability programme progresses. For example, is it possible to develop a multi-format converter which is interpolation free? (which would facilitate a future move from GRIB2 to netCDF).

Improving Communication

The ALADIN/LACE consortium has proposed that a European NWP computer forum be set up to assist with improvements in communication. This is proposed to be in the form of a newsgroup-type archive (e.g. by open-source software "mailman"), where all current and previous emails to the System Aspect Expert team list could be accessed. This would facilitate discussions, but setting-up and maintenance issues will take additional resources.

If this were extended to be a facility for all the SRNWP Expert Teams (with each team having a separate "newsgroup") then it would allow the different Expert Teams to follow the discussions of the other teams. All corresponding issues (e.g. location of server, control policy) should be discussed on the SRNWP level.


There will be at least one meeting associated with the Interoperability project sometime in the period October - December 2008. Attendance will not be restricted to the System Aspects Expert Team though, and it is not expected that any special Expert Team workshops be organised over the 2008-2009 period.

Thematic Session at the Annual EWGLAM/SRNWP Meeting

It is not proposed to organise a special session for this year (2008) because the Interoperability project will have only just started and efforts will be focussed on the first deliverable.

For the 2009 meeting we should aim to organise a session to discuss further work the Expert Team should be involved with.

Table 1 Timeline for Expert team work 2008-2009

Year 1 Jun-08 Jul-08 Aug-08 Sep-08 Oct-08 Nov-08 Dec-08 Jan-09 Feb-09 Mar-09 Apr-09 May-09
■----------- -------------- ----------■ ??
Year 2 Jun-09 Jul-09 Aug-09 Sep-09 Oct-09 Nov-09 Dec-09
  1. ■-----------■ Discussions within consortia regarding the required parameters for Interoperability and related issues
  2. ▲ Meeting at UK Met Office, Exeter to agree parameters and discuss issues surrounding Interoperability Standard Format
  3. ♦ EWGLAM/SRNWP meeting 2009: session to discuss further work for the System Aspects Expert Team
  4. ● Deadline for reaching deliverable D1
  5. ◘ Deadline for completion of deliverable D2