PURPOSE AND SCOPE
This Chapter prescribes the triagency policies for the conduct of the next
Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).
The NEXRAD Program
The NextRad Program is a joint Department of Commerce (DOC), Department Of Defense (DOD),
and Department Of Transportation (DOT) effort to develop , procure , install , and operate Doppler weather
radar (WSR-88D) systems. Through the application of Doppler radar principles and computer algorithms,
the WSR-88R was developed to detect wind velocity, improve flood warnings, improve water resources
management, improve detection of severe thunderstorms and tropical cyclones, increase weather warning
lead time, identify aviation hazards, and provide automated exchange of digital weather radar data.
The original Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) began functioning on an ad hoc basis during
1980 and was officially chartered in 1981. The charter called for the TAC to recommend sources for research
and development (R&D) support, recommend action on R&R proposals received from the laboratories, comment
on R&D support progress in meeting , and comment on Joint System Program Office (JSPO) progress in
meeting the automation goals of the Joint Operational Requirements document. In pursuing this chapter the
TAC is identified and prioritized NEXRAD technical needs, contributed to the NEXRAD R&D plan,
identified algorithms which might meet the technical requirements, and recommend how to proceed
with the algorithm development. The TAC was reconstituted by a revised charter signed in January
1991. That charter was revised in August 1993 and September 1995.
Radar Operations Center (ROC) Responsibilities
The Roc is responsible for operational support of the WSR-88D system. This includes maintenance and
enhancement of the algorithms upon Configuration Control Board (CCB) approval from the Program
Management Committee (PMC), but it does not permit basic research directed at developing new algorithms. Basic
research will continue to be an agency responsibility carried out as determined by each agency.
NEXRAD TECHNICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Update Technical Needs
The Tac began with an assessment of the IOC against
the list of technical needs identified in the March 1983 issue of the NEXRAD R&D plan. Technical needs
satisfied by the IOC were deleted. Technical needs not satisfied by IOC were retained and new technical
needs have been added to the list. Additional new technical needs will be added to the list as required.
The TAC will update and prioritize the list of technical needs on an annual basis and provide
the list to the PMC for approval.
Prioritize Technical Needs
The TAC will prioritize technical needs,
giving consideration to the feasibility of the R&D required. This process will involve
discussions with individuals and groups actively contributing to radar R&D.
When deemed appropriate, the PMC, or designee will
publish a prioritized list of technical needs to R&D organizations and field users. When funds permit, the PMC
will request proposals to address critical technical needs.
The TAC will evaluate the technical merit of the
proposals. When appropriate, the Chairman may select and appoint a subcommittee of voting members to
serve as proposal evaluation panel for the TAC at large. Each member will represent
their respective Department in all matters relating to WSR-88D technical issues and TAC
activities. Each member will consider the impact of these issues upon the missions of the
DOC, DOD and DOT , as well as the members respective agency. The 6-12 voting agency
representatives and tow members at large will vote on which proposals to forward to the
PMC. Dissenting opinions may be expressed through minority reports, which will also be
forward to the PMC. the PMC is solely responsible for selecting winning proposals.
The TAC will provide technical advice on request and will conduct
independent technical reviews of critical issues. As part of these reviews, the TAC will solicit technical
advice from sources outside the NEXRAD program. As the agencies complete algorithm
research work, the PMC will consider those algorithms for implementation into the WSR-88D, based
on the TAC's recommendation.
The NEXRAD TAC will consist of 10 to 16 members:
a nonvoting chairperson, a nonvoting executive secretary, two or four NWS voting representatives,
two or four DOT voting representatives, two or four DOD voting representatives, and two voting
members at large. The voting on issues will be recorded.
The chair person will have a 2-year term with renewal upon mutual
agreement of the PMC and the chairperson. The PMC will select the TAC Chairperson. The chairperson
will preside over the TAC meetings.
The chief of the ROC Applications Branch will serve
as the executive secretary. The executive secretary will
Set meeting times and agenda
Arrange for a meeting place
Coordinate a list of meeting observers
Prepare and distribute meeting minute
Poll laboratories and field offices for proposals for
near-term advanced development
Provide advanced development proposals to the TAC
Each agency PMC member will appoint two or four members and
inform the executive secretary of the appointment. Half of the agency members will have operational
backgrounds and must be currently employed in operations. While the remaining agency members will
have research backgrounds and must be currently involved in agency research activities
Observers will be allowed to attend TAC meetings,
space permitting. Requests to attend as an observer must be approved by the executive secretary.
Observers will not be allowed to attend executive sessions.
Members At Large
These two voting members will provide an increased
link to the R&D community and will be appointed by the TAC chairperson. These members will consider
the impact of WSR-88D technical issues upon the missions of the DOC, DOD, and DOT.
3.3 Meeting Frequency
Emergency meetings may be called by the chairperson.
RESOURCES AND FUNDING
The ROC will provide administrative services. The agencies will be responsible for the
salaries and travel expenses of the members they appoint.
EFFECTIVE DATE AND PERIODIC REVIEW
The PMC shall review this charter biannually to determine whether or not it
should be continued, modified, or terminated. The latest date of
signatory agreement on any modification shall constitute the new effective date
unless specifically stated otherwise.
AMENDMENT OR TERMINATION
This charter may be amended by mutual consent of the DOC, DOD, and DOT.
Termination for cause or for program completion shall require a terminating review to
consider the elements negotiated in this charter. The agency who wishes to initiate termination shall
notify the other agencies, in writing, of the requested termination, within a time frame to permit orderly transfer of
the technical advisory role of the TAC to another committee or agency, and not
less than two years in advance of the termination.