Friday, 18 July 2014

"System Maturity" CORE-CLIMAX style

The SST CCI project is to create both new SST data and to prototype a system for how this SST climate data record can continue to be routinely provided in the future. The "system" is a processing chain that takes inputs (satellite radiance data, auxiliary data etc) and transforms these into SST products. It consists of something like 100000 lines of code, installed at the facility for Climate and Environmental Modelling from Space (CEMS) in Harwell.

CORE-CLIMAX [no kidding] is a European project. Within its scope is development of a means of encapsulating how "mature" systems for delivering climate data records are. It is quite instructive for a team like ours to evaluate itself against the various criteria in the "System Maturity Matrix" they propose. We just did a self evaluation, for AVHRR and analysis products, and find that in its current state, the project straddles a "research capability" and an "initial operations capability" in most areas. That seems right -- it is exactly where we would expect to be at this stage, working on science and also towards a functioning, sustainable system.

Here are our self assessment results. The green shaded boxes show the range of "maturity" of different aspects of the project within each of the metric categories (software readiness, metadata, user documentation, uncertainty characterisation, feedback/access and usage).