Standing Committee on Earth Observing Systems and Monitoring Networks (SC-ON)

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Terms of Reference

Responding to the WMO Convention, article 2(a) (Basic Documents, No. 1 (WMO-No. 15)), which states that one of the primary purposes of the organization shall be “To facilitate worldwide cooperation in the establishment of networks of stations for the making of meteorological observations as well as hydrological and other geophysical observations related to meteorology ”, the Standing Committee will focus on the normative work and technical systems including the development of guidance and tools required to achieve Objective 2.1 of the WMO Strategic Plan: “{to} Optimize the acquisition of Earth system observation data through the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS)”, with a focus on improving network design through a tiered approach and monitoring performance, and where appropriate taking into consideration existing Quality Management Framework guidance – Hydrology (QMF-H) material on hydrological services .
The activities of the Standing Committee will include the following:

(a) With the regional associations, in collaboration with the other Standing Committees of the Infrastructure Commission, and in collaboration with the Services Commission, and Research Board, and with reference to the Rolling Review of Requirements (RRR) [Hong Kong, China], gather and review observational user requirements across all user programmes and disciplines;

(b) Assess and advise on gaps and solutions for meeting user needs in observations for all disciplines and WMO Application Areas, and make proposals on implementation, planning and operational management of global, regional, sub-regional [Hong Kong, China] and national observing networks, across Earth System domains;

(c) Evolve the WMO Application Areas within the Rolling Review of Requirements to reflect the needs of Earth system analysis, prediction, projection, and sector-specific applications;

(d) Develop and maintain WMO regulatory and guidance material related to Earth observing networks, as specified in the WMO Technical Regulations (WMO No. 49), in particular in Volume I and III, and the Manual on the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WMO-No. 1160);

(e) Collect and specify requirements for, and guide the development, implementation, operation and maintenance of WIGOS tools (e.g. WIGOS Information Resource, the Observing Systems Capability Analysis and Review Tool (OSCAR), and the WIGOS Data Quality Monitoring System (WDQMS));

(f) Assist and guide Members to initiate, [India] design, evolve, optimize, and implement integrated global, regional, sub-regional [Hong Kong, China], and national observing networks in collaboration with relevant groups and partner organizations, including satellite operators;

(g) In collaboration with the regional associations, provide technical guidance with regard to translating WMO standard practices and procedures into operational advice that is tailored to the needs of individual Member countries and territories;

(h) Provide necessary assessments or facilitate and guide Members for undertaking such assessments to help enhance their capabilities and overall data availability, and assure optimal compliance with established requirements for all WMO Application Areas;

(i) Provide performance monitoring of the observing networks; promote the establishment, quality and continued operation of all WIGOS observing networks;

(j) Establish appropriate coordination with the Services Commission and Research Board on strengthening and designing existing and new observational networks to enhance benefits to Members;

(k) Cooperate and partner with other organizations to ensure efficient support to Members, with a view to fostering a culture of compliance with regulatory material to build capacity [Iran, MG RA II] and increasing the overall availability of observations;

(l) Coordinate WMO requirements for radio frequency bands and assignment of radio frequencies to meteorological telecommunications, instruments, sensors, both for operational and research purposes, and liaise with specialist radio frequency management authorities, including the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), on frequency allocation matters;

(m) Engage with other WMO structures and programmes, co-sponsored programmes, and related international partner organizations in coordinating all relevant activities.
Expertise required
Expertise will be required in the following areas related to surface- and space-based observing networks across all main Earth system domains (weather, climate, atmospheric composition, oceans, hydrology and cryosphere):
• Observing network design and evolution, including observational user requirements and impact of observations, and observations compliance with relevant WMO regulations/recommendations;
• Observing network implementation;
• Observing network monitoring;
• Allocation and protection of radio frequencies for observing networks.

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