Call for Participation from Academic Community in WSR-88D Level II Data Distribution

Call for Participation from Academic Community in WSR-88D* Level II** Data Distribution

The National Weather Service (NWS) has adopted Unidata's Local Data Manager (LDM) technology to distribute Level II data using Internet2/Abilene to satisfy NWS requirements, including the delivery of Level II data to National Centers for Environmental Prediction and National Climatic Data Center. The use of Internet 2/Abilene presents an opportunity for academic institutions to receive the data in the same manner in which they receive other data sets currently provided via LDM and Internet Data Distribution (IDD). This call for participation is to inform the academic community of this activity and to solicit responses from institutions interested in being top-level relay node in the redistribution of the Level II data to:

1)      University community free of charge and in an unrestricted manner; and
2)      Private sector with only cost recovery

It is expected that academic institutions that are selected to provide top-level service will enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the NWS. The MOA will stipulate unrestricted redistribution and usage rights and not-for-profit cost recovery when distributing data (non-value added) to private sector customers. The large volume, importance, and time criticality of the data necessitates stringent criteria in the selection of top-level relay nodes. Due to network bandwidth constraints and NWS requirements, the opportunity to become a top level relay node is limited to one or two sites that can provide a sustained commitment to distribute the data to the academic and the private sector communities. It is expected that sites will send data to approximately four second-tier Unidata member universities at no charge.

The following list represents the minimum requirements the NWS is seeking for top level relay sites:

-- Receive and relay data from all 132 and possible expansion to over 140 participating radars
--      Knowledge of Level II data format and use
--      At least an Internet2 connection
--      Capability for large product queue (> 2 GB) support in LDM
--      Bandwidth to deal with projected volume of data by year 2005:
        o       minimum incoming bandwidth=80 Mb/second
        o       minimum outgoing bandwidth=400 Mb/second (based on four 
downstream sites)
--      Access to commodity Internet to serve the private sector
--      24x7 operations support highly desired, but not required
--      UPS/power generation facilities and redundant disk arrays (RAID systems)
--      Willingness to upgrade equipment if necessary
--      Use of Unidata supported or approved platforms
--      Willingness to upgrade LDM software when needed
-- Staffed by Unidata workshop trained professionals or those with strong working knowledge of LDM software
--      Working knowledge of Unix or one of its variants such as Linux
--      Over 95% data distribution reliability, uptime, and  availability
--      Provide LDM statistics

Final decision on top-level relay site selection will be made by the Unidata Program Center, based on the requirements of the stakeholders and in consultation with the National Weather Service.

Replies should be sent to the email address below by close of business on December 22, 2003. Top level relay sites will be expected to have the MOA signed with the NWS and be ready for operation by January 31, 2004.

For additional information, please contact level2@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

*WSR-88D (Weather Surveillance Doppler Radar)
**Level II (base data)


Linda Miller - lmiller@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
External Liaison, Unidata
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
P.O. Box 3000
Boulder, CO 80307-3000
303-497-8646 fax: 303-497-8690