The Call for Participation-December 5, 2003 - is the final step toward provision of "freely available" Level II WSR-88D data distribution to the academic community, which will also serve private industry, government, etc. The process began in November 1997 in the Unidata conference room when several representatives from various organizations met and agreed that a collaboration among the groups was justified to explore the access and distribution of Level II data, using Unidata's LDM technology. The concept was taken to the Policy Committee and Users Committee where concurrence was gained.
The project became known as Collaborative Radar Acquisition Field Test (CRAFT), which successfully demonstrated and tested Level II data distribution using LDM with Internet2-Abilene and data compression techniques. Initially, testing began with six radars and grew to the current 102 radars, providing Level II data to interested academic and other stakeholders through the CRAFT project at the University of Oklahoma-CAPS program. The NWS monitored the progress of CRAFT, initiated membership of NOAA to Internet2, and adopted LDM software for use in providing Level II data to NWS, NCEP, NCDC, and with Unidata's assistance, through the call for participation from <.edu> sites, to all academic sites "free of charge." An MOA is being crafted by the Department of Commerce/NOAA lawyers for the selected university sites to provide "Top Level" data distribution services to academia and not-for-profit cost recovery when distributing data (non-value added) to private sector customers.
The NWS plans to use the same distribution mechanism to feed their own sites (National Centers for Enviornmental Prediction, National Climatic Data Center, etc), and they are hoping to have agreement with the selected university sites by March 2004. LDM training will be conducted by a Unidata staff person at each of the NWS regional headquarters (4) in the conterminous U.S. The training, salary and benefits will be reimbursed by the NWS. The next steps include assisting the sites with IDD topology for data dissemination. This project has highlighted Unidata and the LDM technology which has been the foundation for accessing, distributing and managing data for the Internet Data Distribution, and has served many other partners since 1995. This service will offer data for research and education to all academic instiutions. Unidata anticipates use of the Integrated Data Viewer. (IDV) by many community members for viewing and analyzing the Level II data.
A related document is the WSR-88D Level II Data Distribution Issues, 24 July 2003.