Unlocking the Potential of NEXRAD Data through NOAA's Big Data Partnership

Ansari, Steve ; Del Greco, Stephen ; Kearns, Edward ; Brown, Otis ; Wilkins, Scott ; Ramamurthy, Mohan ; Weber, Jeff ; May, Ryan ; Sundwall, Jed ; Layton, Jeff ; Gold, Ariel ; Pasch, Adam ; Lakshmanan, Valliappa

Année de publication

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Big Data Partnership (BDP) was established in April 2015 through cooperative research agreements between NOAA and selected commercial and academic partners. The BDP is investigating how the value inherent in NOAA's data may be leveraged to broaden their utilization through modern cloud infrastructures and advanced 'big data' techniques. NOAA's Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) data were identified as an ideal candidate for such collaborative efforts. NEXRAD Level II data are valuable yet challenging to utilize in their entirety, and recent advances in weather radar science can be applied to both the archived and real-time data streams. NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) transferred the complete NEXRAD Level II historical archive, originating in 1991, through North Carolina State University's Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites (CICS-NC) to interested BDP collaborators. Amazon Web Services (AWS) has received and made freely available the complete archived Level II data through its AWS platform. AWS then partnered with Unidata/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) to establish a real-time NEXRAD feed, thereby providing on-demand dissemination of both archived and current data seamlessly through the same access mechanism by October 2015. To organize, verify, and utilize the NEXRAD data on its platform, AWS further partnered with the Climate Corporation. This collective effort among federal government, private industry, and academia has already realized a number of new and novel applications that employ NOAA's NEXRAD data, at no net cost to the U.S. taxpayer. The volume of accessed NEXRAD data, including this new AWS platform service, has increased by 130%, while the amount of data delivered by NOAA/NCEI has decreased by 50%.

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