NOAA plots successor to climate modeling supercomputer

Shutterstock image: regional climate modeling.

WHAT: Weather and Climate Operational Supercomputer System II.

WHY: Faster and more powerful supercomputers enable more precise and long-term weather forecasts that take into account increasingly complex data inputs and observations. NOAA's current weather and climate forecasting supercomputer system, WCOSS, went online last July, but already the agency is asking industry for ideas to augment or replace the system that currently supplies the National Weather Service with forecasting data. The WCOSS contract expires Feb. 14, 2017.

According to a request for information posted to FedBizOpps, NOAA wants plans for a "complete and fully integrated system and redundant system solution." That means supercomputing hardware and storage as well as software to take the flood of data from NOAA satellites, observational aircraft, marine buoys, and other inputs and turn it into weather forecasts. Plans call for a primary system to be used in preparing forecasts, and a secondary system to handle research and development; however the systems are meant to be identical and interchangeable. The current WCOSS has systems in place in Reston, Va., and a backup in Orlando.

NOAA plans to put out a request for proposals in the first quarter of fiscal 2015, with an award due by the fourth quarter, and a final system delivered by November 2016. Contracting documents suggest that spending on the system will approach $300 million through Ffiscal 2024.

Click here to read the RFI.

Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Sep 09, 2014 at 7:50 AM


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