The Test and Evaluation Branch (OPS24) provides quality assurance by validating functional and operational requirements for new NWS operational systems and/or changes to existing systems prior to deployment for official use in meteorological and hydrologic service operations. It does so through conducting Systems Tests (ST) and Operational Tests and Evaluations (OT&E).
Each test is over seen by an independent group of users of systems under test during both test phases. The group is called the Test Review Group (TRG). The TRG adjudicates problems found during the test phases. After the completion of a test, the TRG presents a recommendation to NWS management whether the new system or changes to an existing system should be nationally deployed into NWS service operations.
OPS24 is one of four branches in the Field Systems Operations Center (FSOC) of the Office of Operational Systems(OOS).
OPS24 is responsible for conducting the system and/or operational tests for several NWS systems including:
- Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) Hardware
- All-Hazards Emergency Message Collection System (HazCollect)
- Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS)
- Historical Climate Network Modernization (HCN-M)
- Meteorological Assimilations Data Ingest System (MADIS)
- NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards Console Replacement System (NWR/CRS)
- Radiosonde Replacement System (RRS)
- Weather Radio Improvement Project (WRIP)
Test authorization and guidance is provided by the following National
Weather Service Policy Directive (NWSPD) and two NWS Instructions (NWSI):
- NWSPD 30-3 - Operational
Test and Evaluation - (recertified Oct 15, 2012)
- NWSI 30-301 - System
Test (ST) Process - (recertified Oct 11, 2012)
- NWSI 30-302 - Operational
Test and Evaluation Process - (recertified June 11, 2013)