NOAA puts a satellite system out to pasture

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently decommissioned one of its
main weather satellite image processing systems after 24 years of service.

The now retired Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-Telecommunications
Access Program, an analog system, provided near real-time imagery from weather satellites
around the country. NOAAPort, a subsystem of the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing
System, will replace the system known as GOES-TAP.

“The action to replace GOES-TAP was prompted by National Weather Service
requirements to access digital data products at faster rates and higher resolution via
enhanced communication lines,” said Helen Wood, director of NOAA’s Satellite
Data Processing and Distribution Office.

AWIPS integrates meteorological and hydrological data, including satellite and radar
data, on a single workstation for each NWS forecaster. AWIPS lets NWS issue more accurate
and timely warnings and forecasts, Wood said.

NOAAPort is a one-way broadcast system that provides environmental data to NOAA and
external users.

The AWIPS Network Control Facility in Silver Spring, Md., processes weather data
gathered by NWS observing systems and then routes the data to NOAAPort for broadcast.

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