McIDAS, ldm-mcidas, Satellite Data Ingest

Status Report: October 2011 - March 2012

Tom Yoksas

Strategic Focus Areas

McIDAS activities support the following Unidata funding proposal focus areas:

  1. Broadening participation and expanding community services
    McIDAS remains the application of choice for the satellite meteorology community.
  2. Advancing data services
    McIDAS ADDE was the first application offered by Unidata to provide remote, programmatic access to a wide variety of data that is important to the atmospheric science community.
  3. Developing and deploying useful tools
    McIDAS ADDE continues to evolve and provide access to increasing volumes of image and non-image data.
  4. Providing leadership in cyberinfrastructure
    Concepts articulated in ADDE inspired the development of THREDDS (to address the lack of rich metadata available in ADDE) and RAMADDA. ADDE remains one of the most used data services in the Unidata suite serving approx 3 TB per month.
  5. Promoting diversity by expanding opportunities
    McIDAS is sought for use by those interested in satellite meteorology worldwide.

McIDAS Activities Since the Last Status Report

NEXRAD Level III Dual Polarization Products

Working with SSEC MUG team to standardize enhancements for NEXRAD Level III Dual Polarization products.


Unidata McIDAS v2009i

Additions to and bugfixes for the Unidata McIDAS distribution continue to be made through an addendum process. The current release, v2009i, reflects 10 updates since McIDAS v2009 was first made available in late July, 2009. v2009i incorportates both Unidata and SSEC bugfixes and enhancements. The 11th Addendum, v2009j, should be released by the time of the User Committee meeting.


Interest in McIDAS by Non-core Users

The UPC continues to receive requests for McIDAS from international university users and U.S. government agencies and other non-traditional Unidata users (e.g., private businesses, etc.). Government agencies and non-traditional Unidata users are referred to UW/SSEC for access to McIDAS; international educational community user requests are granted on a case-by-case basis after they provide a clear statement of their acceptance of the terms of use provided by SSEC.



The UPC (Yoksas) continues participate in the McIDAS Advisory Committee (MAC). The MAC was assembled by UW/SSEC to advise SSEC on McIDAS-X users needs/concerns/desires for development in the next generation McIDAS, McIDAS-V.

Planned Activities

Ongoing Activities

Continued support of existing and new community members.


New Activities

Add support for new types of data that may become available.

Relevant Metrics

  • Internet2 (I2) bandwidth usage by the McIDAS ADDE protocol routinely exceed 1 TB/week. This ranks second in Advanced Applications use behind the LDM.
  • McIDAS Inquiry Metrics

ldm-mcidas Activities Since the Last Status Report


The ldm-mcidas package of decoders for IDD-conveyed data not supported by McIDAS-XCD remains largely unchanged since its last release in spring, 2009. A new release will be made in April to address building on newer OS versions.


Satellite Data Ingest

GOES-East, GOES-West, GOES-South

Unidata continues to ingest GOES-East, GOES-West, and GOES-South (GOES-South America) imager data at the UCAR campus in Boulder.

  • Direct, programmatic access to real-time GOES-South (GOES-12) data via McIDAS ADDE has been used by over 820 users in 33 countries who downloaded approx. 520 GB of data per month over the past year.
  • Direct, programmatic access to real-time GOES-East (GOES-13) data via McIDAS ADDE has been used by approx. 35 users who downloaded an average of approx. 1 TB of data per month over the past year.
  • Direct, programmatic access to real-time GOES-West (GOES-11) data via McIDAS ADDE is used by approx. 25 users have downloaded an average of 800 GB of data per month for the past year.

Planned Activities

Ongoing Activities

Continued ingest and serving of GOES-East, GOES-West, and GOES-South imagery.

Nenewed Activities

Repurpose former USAN dish at Mesa Lab to operation as a remotely controllable ingester for any of the GOES platforms.