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NOAAPORT Ingest System

Updated November 2011


The Unisys NOAAPORT Ingest System is a fully integrated, turn-key system that accepts and processes the complete product set found on the National Weather Service NOAAPORT satellite broadcast service. This includes the GOES, NWSTG, NWSTG2, and OCONUS broadcast channels. The Unisys NOAAPORT Ingest system is also designed to accept and process the Unisys NOAAPORT broadcast channel* that is co-located with the NWS NOAAPORT broadcast, and any future NWS broadcast channels with a simple configuration change.

This system runs on an Intel platform using Red Hat Enterprise or CENTOS operating system. It uses standard TCP/IP and NFS/SMB for data access. Our Unisys NOAAPORT Ingest System has gone through rigorous testing at our product development lab and is capable of processing receive data at the anticipated 30Mbit/sec data stream. The Unisys NOAAPORT Ingest System can save all the data on local disks, provide product arrival notification (PAN) messages, output the NOAAPORT data as a raw NOAAPORT packet stream, or output the data as familiar WMO bulletins that can be further processed or displayed by Unisys Product Manager or user software

*Unisys is the only company to provide a Unisys NOAAPORT channel with commercial weather data to supplement and complete the weather data offered on NOAAPORT.

Unisys NOAAPORT Ingest System Description:

The Unisys NOAAPORT Ingest System is an Intel based server with hardware and software installed to receive the NOAAPORT satellite broadcast. The Ingest System requires an outdoor antenna system that consists of a C-Band capable satellite dish (size varies with location, roughly 3.7 meters in diameter), an LNB, optional heater blanket, and cabling.

Ingest Antenna Diagram

The satellite receiver is connected to the outdoor antenna by an RF cable and to the Ingest system by a network cable. The receiver converts the satellite signal to IP multicast which is processed by the Ingest system.

The ingest software will process each NOAAPORT channel, assembling packet data into a stream and send the data over a reliable TCP/IP socket connection to a set of client processes. Client processes include the Unisys Product Manager or LDM (Local Data Manager from Unidata) both of which reside in the Unisys Noaaport Ingest system. A user can also connect to the Ingest system by IP sockets with their own product manager. The user can receive the data as either raw NOAAPORT frames or as WMO bulletins in a format similar to the old Family of Services (FOS) feed.

Unisys Product Manager

The Unisys Product Manager is the default product manager and is bundled with the Unisys NOAAPORT Ingest System. All Product Manager processing is user configurable. The Product Manager uses a configuration file to identify products based on WMO headers and saves the output to user defined files on the local hard drives of the Ingest System. The Product Manager supports user defined data output, filenames and directory structures.

Unisys Product Manager

The default setting divides data by channel (nwstg, nwstg2, goes, oconus, unisys) and then by data type. The data is saved over 4 disks. It organizes text data into data and text directories based on whether it is observations and model output, or manually generated text messages such as watches and warnings. Data go into hourly or multi-hour collections. Binary data goes into directories based on type such as model for GRIB data, BUFR and sat (satellite imagery). Model data is organized by model and grid type with all data going into a single file for easier file manipulation. High resolution 1km satellite imagery is re-sampled into lower resolution 4km images for easier processing. File names are based on time and data type.

To process real-time data such as severe weather warnings, the Product Manager transmits a Product Arrival Notification (PAN) message sent via UDP datagram to a set of user defined clients at the time the product is received. The message contains date/time information, WMO header and location on disk of the product (filename, byte offset and size).

Archiving of the data is done automatically using time stamped file names. The Product Manager uses separate scour processes to remove data off the server. This is user configurable by directory and by file size and/or age.

Unidata LDM Support

The NOAAPORT Ingest System supports output to the Local Data Manager (LDM) software system available from Unidata ( www.unidata.ucar.edu/software/ldm/). 64 bit LDM software is supplied with the system. LDM provides product manager functionality comparable to the Unisys Product Manager. In addition, it provides a store and forward function for distributing data in multiple computers/clients.

SNMP Monitoring

MRTG Example

The Unisys Noaaport system is SNMP enabled, and has its own publicly registered OID under Unisys-UnisysWeather. With SNMP you can monitor common functions like CPU utilization, memory usage, disk space, and processes. Our Ingest system will also let you monitor NOAAPORT functions like throughput and frame loss, and provide information about the Novra S300 satellite receiver.

HP Openview, HostMonitor, Nagios, and MRTG are some of the 3rd party tools used for processing SNMP. These tools can also be used for monitoring, alarming, and notification, as well as generating graphs to give you a historical perspective on resources and how they are being used over time. They can send SMS messages and/or email your support staff when a threshold has been reached and something needs attention. With SNMP there is no need to write special monitoring scripts, or be in the dark about an overused resource.

System Documentation

  • Ingest System Users Guide: (HTML) | (PDF)
  • Product Manager Users Guide: (PDF)
  • Unisys Channel (5th channel) Data Specification and Content: (HTML) | (PDF)

Contact Information

PHONE: 800-610-9473
SALES: sales-support@weather.unisys.com
TECHNICAL: technical-support@weather.unisys.com

For more information about the NOAAPORT program, data, or specifications see the NWS NOAAPORT user support page.