A Cooperative Climate Rainfall Data Center

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) data and information system (TSDIS) is generally viewed as a very successful system -- winning continuing praise from the user community. While much of the success can be attributed to the competence and dedication of the staff, it is also related to TSDIS's limited number of mission-imposed requirements. TSDIS was able to meet these requirements and in addition, perform a number of services for the community on an ad-hoc basis. A successful example of this was the implementation of the near real-time system that provides data to a number of operational systems. It was never a requirement, and to this date operates on a ``best effort'' type of approach. A number of smaller tasks from individual principal investigators (PIs) are also handled on an ad-hoc basis with extremely positive feedback from the community. This is a successful model that we think is worth expanding upon. We propose to follow a model in which the Precipitation Data System (PDS) takes care of the essential mission requirements. However, those aspects of the data that are important to user groups, but not essential to mission defined success criteria, are passed to an application oriented data center operated by a PI with knowledge of both the data products and the relevant science issues. With this model in mind, we propose to develop a Cooperative Climate Rainfall Data Center (CCRDC) to interface between the data system and the climate rainfall user community. This proposed Cooperative Center would guide users through the maze of available climate rainfall products, provide interactive capabilities to compare the various products, provide for direct interaction between users and rainfall experts, and provide customized datasets upon demand. In so doing, the Cooperative Center would serve both the user community as well as the evolution of the PDS. Within this model, the PDS can again begin with a conservative set of requirements that can then be expanded as user needs are identified by the CCRDC. Extensive experience in the development and analysis of climate rainfall data by both PIs along with the first author's experience as Deputy Project Scientist for Data Systems during the development of TSDIS will provide the proposed Cooperative Center with the necessary expertise. In addition, ongoing involvement in related research and development efforts will ensure that the Center maintains an active interest in serving the user community from the perspective of the feedback it provides on the overall quality of the rainfall products. Finally, success will be measured in terms of the overall user community satisfaction as well as the interaction between the Center and the PDS. Both will be assessed on an annual basis through feedback.