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					Virtual Laboratory – An opportunity for collaborative education and training
Jeff Wilson Co-Chair of the CGMS/WMO Virtual Laboratory Focus Group
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Who am I
• Primarily a trainer in a national weather service • Background in image interpretation, and use of manipulation and display systems (primarily McIDAS) • Not a remote sensing specialist

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Who are we?

Virtual Laboratory team
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Long term goal of Virtual Lab
• Contribute towards the more effective utilization of meteorological satellite data and products by researchers and operational forecasters.

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What do we know about you?
You : • Are a community of operational and research users of sounding data • Encourage the sharing of expertise and software within the community • Wish to establish links with the WMO specialized “centres of excellence” • Have Education and Training as one of your goals
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Now tell me about it!
The Virtual Laboratory • Organizational structure • Conceptually • In reality

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The VL is a global network of specialised training centres created to meet user needs for increased skills and knowledge in using satellite data

San Jose Costa Rica

Narobi Kenya


Bridgetown Barbados

Niamey Niger


Melbourne Australia
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Nanjing China

VL schematic
Virtual Laboratory for Basic Skills Virtual Laboratory for Specialist Skills Virtual Resource Library Science Community IWWG, ITWG, IPWG …. Documented competencies for the use of satellite data (WMO Pub. No. 258), biennial questionnaire Data from Satellite Operators Visualization and data manipulation tools (RAMSDIS, SATAID, VISITView, RAMSDIS On-line,………)

Available learning resources and guides (COMET, SATAID, EuroMET, printed material, CIRA, BMTC and other CAL) and appropriate educational approaches
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Virtual Resource Library
The Virtual Resource Library is the core of the VL and reflects the 3 cornerstones of the ET Strategy to Improve Satellite System Utilisation by providing access to
– Training and educational material – Software and expertise on how to utilise data – Case study and near real time data
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Training and Education Resources
• Courses and course material suitable for novice to advanced users • Assessment linked to WMO competencies • Learning Guides for online, standalone and hardcopy material • Links to online forums and discussion groups and keynote /landmark “papers” • Links to education and training material, particularly those based around distance and online learning
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Software and expertise for utilizing data
• The Virtual Resource Library contains a suite of standard software packages and applications for use on those packages. • Desire strong links to specialist science groups such as the TOVS, WINDS and PRECIPITATION working groups

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• The Virtual Resource Library provides access to case study data in a variety of standard formats. The data will be linked to the training sessions or it can be used on its own (eg for application development and testing) • Near real time data will also be accessible in several standard formats via the satellite operator’s online sites
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Bureau of Meteorology

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CIRA entry

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How are we using it?
• As a resource site when developing course material for use within the Specialized Centres • As a portal for students / forecasters searching for satellite education and training material • In May we will be trialing live link up of several of the specialized centres during a training event

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VL Future Developments
• Taxonomy • Review of meta data held in the VRL • Increase the amount of material held in VRL • Mirroring of the various websites • Monitoring of site usage • “Branding” of the VL sites
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Where do we go from here?
• Collaboration with ITWG members to develop the taxonomy • Encourage you to register your material in our database ( or )

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