The Short-term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT) center at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL is a NASA-funded activity with a vision of accelerating the translation of NASA science to applications by collaborating with researchers, innovators, and stakeholders. SPoRT was established in 2002 and is funded under the NASA Earth Science Division Research and Analysis Program’s Weather and Atmospheric Dynamics Focus Area. Therefore, SPoRT’s early focus was on transitioning NASA products to the operational weather community to improve short-term forecasting with end users within the operational weather community (e.g. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Weather Service). Today SPoRT focuses on applied research and applications in 6 focus areas that span weather, atmospheric, and land surface topics with partnerships across government, academia, and the private sector (see Collaborative Partners). A research-to-operations/operations-to-research paradigm (figure below) has been the basis for transitioning over 40 satellite products to stakeholders over 20 years. The main goals of the SPoRT paradigm include (1) early and intentional interaction with stakeholders, (2) identifying and/or developing user-driven science solutions from NASA observations and research capabilities, (3) timely delivery of data products for early stakeholder testing and feedback, (4) integration of data products and capabilities in user formats, visualizations, and display systems, (5) targeted applications-based training highlighting use cases, examples, product advantages and limitations, (5) stakeholder assessments and product testing, and (6) prioritizing operations to research feedback to meet users’ needs and facilitate the sustained use of NASA data in applications. The SPoRT paradigm enables intentional interaction between scientists and stakeholders throughout the research-to-applications/applications-to-research lifecycle to develop innovative solutions through an iterative process that meet stakeholder needs, are tailored for their application, and promote sustained use of NASA observations and research capabilities. SPoRT values innovation, collaboration, and engagement to bridge the gap between science and applications and maximize the benefit of NASA data for operations, applications, and decision making.
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