NOAA awards climate contract to STG

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials awarded a five-year, $25 million blanket purchase agreement to STG to continue information technology operations and maintenance of the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

STG, which is based in Reston, Va., will essentially provide mission support to NCDC, which is the world’s largest active archive of weather data. The company held the previous five-year contract, which was valued at $15.9 million.

“We are involved in almost everything the NCDC does, which is, ingest, process, archive and provide access to data coming in from a variety of sources,” Loretta Changery, STG program director for the contract, wrote in an e-mail message.

“We handle some basic data center operations functions for the NCDC in the 24/7 monitoring of its computer systems and processes,” she added. “We also provide network security, systems administration, help-desk [support] and NOAA [continuity of operations] coordination.”

She wrote that NCDC currently uses about four terabytes of data per week, but that number is projected to “skyrocket” in the next five to seven years. Although STG’s 65 IT professionals and scientists working at the center will still provide basic IT services, she wrote that they are also moving toward providing more scientific and data analyses.

For example, last year NOAA and STG officials developed an application called the Next Generation Weather Radar system that will allow the governmental, scientific and academic communities and some unskilled users to browse and view radar data more easily.

Changery wrote that STG scientists are also helping NCDC officials with daily, weekly and annual climate monitoring updates, climate data modernization, quality assurance, Web development, metadata documentation, 3-D data visualization and programming support for remote sensing applications, among other services.

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