GOES DCS History / Evolutionary Development

The GOES Data Collection System (DCS) began operating in the early 1970's, but it origin's trace back to the mid/late 1960s with the Application Technology Satellite (ATS) that will celebrate its 50th anniversary on December 7, 2016. The ATS was the forerunner of the GOES program.

Many of the people involved in the evolution are retired or planning to retire, so to document the progress we've made and to provide a roadmap for future development efforts, we decided to capture the significant steps the program has made. It turned out to be quite a task! We recognize that a lot of the progress has been made by you, the users, so enjoy this walk down memory lane with us, and give yourselves a big pat on the back. But don't get complacent, keep up the good work!

We enjoyed doing this project but if we missed something please notify us of the event so it too can be captured for the record.


Milestone / Project Development Date Development Lead Development
Project Outcome
ERTS /(Landsat) 1965 NASA Polar Data Relay Platform Trial Successful Data Relay
Applications Technology Satellite-1 1966 NASA ATS-1 Suomi Spin View Determine spin Geo sat characteristics Test of comm. and imagery Initial DCS Type Geo Data Relay First full disk imagery... Nasa... Wikipedia... Earth Observatory
DCS Radio Set Specifications Dec-70 NESS Generation of specifications DCP Radio Set (Detailed) Design Plan... More Info
GOES DCS Design Plan 1971 Magnavox DCP Radio Design plan development DCS Design Plan
GOES DCS Ground System Jul-74 Magnavox   O&M Manual for CDAS Ground System Part No., 705856-801 Sec I-Vii W/App A & B
GOES DCS Demodulator     First Generation Demodulators Crystal Controlled
ERTS Pseudo Binary 1972 Earl Painter/NASA ERTS Becomes Landsat in 1975 Random Reporting Ability Improved DCS type data transfer
GOES User Group/STIWG 1974 USGS, NWS, ACOE Duane Preble Agency Representatives Meet Lead to TWG/STIWG
SMS 1 / GOES 1 1974 Magnavox DCS design DCS 2 way communication Suomi Spin Stabilization DCS as a successfully functioning data system
GOES Time Code 1974-1977 NBS/NOAA GOES Time to 1ms accuracy NBS SP250-30 Ended in 2005
Preliminary GOES DCS Project Plan 1975 Merle Nelson Initial DCS Project plan DCS Progress Dissemination... NESS Tech Memo. 67
Convertible DCP (CDCP) 1975 Duane Preble (COTR/USGS) LaBarge Corp. (Build) Ball Bros. Res. Development Integrated Microprocessor Optional ERTS/GOES Versatility Affordable unit costs Flexible I/O application Hastened the end of DCPI... DCS User Reports, 1100 DCPs
South American Training Program 1975/1976 Duane Preble/U.S. Agencies Multi-U.S. Agency cooperation Initial South American GOES use.
Random Reporting 1977 W. Ducon ACOE Contract Expand communication format Flexible in-the-field scheduling
  Dec-80 NESDIS Users Guide to Random Reporting Intro to GOES Random Reporting
ARGOS 1978 NASA/Cote French Coordination Cooperative French/USA
    Random Operation System still working
Data Collection Platform Address Code Oct-78 Bill Mazur DCP Address format/Interrogate Plan NESS 82 Tech Memo
First DCS Management Report 1980 Merle Nelson DCS User Reports, 1100 DCPs DCS Progress Dissemination... GOES DATA NESS 100
DCS Certification Standards 1980 NOAA/DCS Random reporting standards Certification Proliferation
GOES DCS DAMSNT 1980 OSD/GSD E. Seman Telecom 4 Data Quality Metrics to each message received
GOES DCS Command Receiver 1981 NDBC Real time DCP command potential Early attempt of two-way DCP... NDBO SOW
DCS User Report 1982 NOAA Agency DCS user percentage 1982 User snapshot... User History 1982
GOES DCS Technical Memorandum Jun-83 Nestlebush GOES DCS System NESDIS 2 Tech Memo
GOES DCS Uplink Transmit System 1982/1983 OSD/GSD Test GOES Transponder Full load Fully load DCS Transponder... GOES DCS Antenna w/Test equipment
SDG/SIWG Jun-84 STIWG Formed to Support User Needs Defined USER REQ & Critical Elements COE Lead... Led to DAPS Funding
DAPS Project 1985/1986 OSD/GSD DAPS Requirements/ specifications Procurement package... Based upon 1984 STIWG Design Study
  1987/1988 Dorsey COR Nestelbush PM DAPS Contract Contract to ISI Corp.
DAPS Acceptance 1989 OSD/GSD Dorsey/Staton Operational system integration Enhanced GOES DCS Message Data Distribution Storage and Systems Management Services
Additional DAMSNT (ADDS) 1988/1990 STIWG User Funded Dorsey COR Improve Demod design Vitel DCS channel capacity increase... Took system beyond 40 channels per S/C Extra funding lead to HDR Cyberlink studys
GOES NEXT 3 Axis stabilization 1985-1994 GOES 'I-M' Project Develop 3 Axis technology Successful 3 Axis Stabilization at Geosynchronous orbit (Copy INSAT)... GOES NEXT
DROT 1989 Warren Dorsey DROT Included in DAPS software DROT provided Message Data Filtering... Distributed to user Community basis for LRGS
GOES DCS DOMSAT 1990 Americom/Settles DOMSAT Contract Americom DAPS tested for DOMSAT in 1989
  1991   DOMSAT Operational DOMSAT DCS data distribution... Wallops Uplink/Down w/CO Monitor
DAPS User Dial in Telnet 1989 OSD/GSD Modem bank, Comm. Software User dial-in capability to DAPS computer system... 10 lines using Level Four Microcom Networking Protocol (MNP) error correction
Direct Readout Terminal (DROT) 1989 Warren Dorsey DROT Software development DROT Application ready... Provided for User Community and DOMSAT Data Distribution.
DCS Summary Report 1990 Mike Nestlebush Compilation of DCS user activity Detailed summary of DCS Agency and Corp. usage... DAPS Monthly
Electronic Bulletin Board (EBB) 1992 Jim Wydick
Jim Green
DCS Information sharing Dial-in modem bank WEFAX/DRO inclusion Begin Internet development Evolve and expand to NOAASIS web site User updates and interaction
DAMS HDR Expansion 1992 Warren Dorsey/Microcom 300/1200 bps refinement DCS 300/1200 operational expansion
LRGS (DAPS spin off) 1992 USGS/COE Employ best features of DAP-1. Readily available user system upgrade
Updated DCP-I Design 1993 NDBC Design prototype Only 25 units built
Cyberlink Studies 1989-1992 Bill Mazur DCS HDR Requirement Development Upgrades in data rates 300 and 1200 bps Interleavers for parity errors and CDMA
Systems Update Report Jun-94 Nestlebush PM GOES DCS System Detailed NESDIS 40 Tech Memo Update of the NESDIS 2
CS1 High Data Rate (HDR) 1993/1994 Cyberlink Dorsey COR HDR Conceptual Requirements RFP/Proposals/contract award Proof of concept engineering model Basis for further development
CS1 High Data Rate (HDR) 1995 STIWG Funded HDR DAMSNT Developed Effective system capacity increased
HDAMS CS1 High Data Rate 1996 Vitel/Dorsey COR Bessel Filter Design Bench test transmitter prototype Systems test prototype Added DCS Development Opportunities Increased Message Data Rates
DCS Interrogate and Control Equipment (DICE) 1995-1997 OSD/GSD ATS/Dorsey COR Supported Interrogate Sub-System and GOES time code Formatting Updated Magnavox FTS Front End Provide AGC Transponder Frequency Offset/Drift
HDR Expansion 1998 Vitel/Dorsey COR 300/1200 bps refinement DCS 300/1200 operational expansion
GOES Direct Readout 1997 Kay Metcalf Initial pub. 1992, update 1997 Concise User Guide to Direct Readout capability... Users Guide
GOES DCS Operations Plans NGOP FCD-P28-1997 1997 Kay Metcalf
Evolution of GOES DCS as critical DCS User Operations Plan Dissemination of critical DCS environmental support areas... More Info
DAPS Telnet (Internet) 1999 Al Mcmath Internet system integration Internet security Increased user access, speed and effective capacity - Fore runner to LRGS
CS1 HDR Certification Standard 1999 Vitel / Dorsey COR Apply HDR Prototype findings DRAFT Radio Set Certification Standards
Transmitter Locator System (TLS) 2000 Wydiak Prototype/First Generation - it was not fully deployed/second phase proposed TLS used Doppler to identify interfering DCP
DCP location axes were in kilometer range
CS1 HDR Certification V.1B Mar-00 OSD/GSD 8PSK engineering development Basis for the new HDR DCP Radio Sets
  Nov-00 SEIMAC First HDR DCP Certified SATHDRGOES Other DCPRS Certified within next 12 months.
DICE 2000 Applied Tech. Solutions Pilot and Control Module integration Operational Pilot and Control in one unit
DAPS II 2000 NOBLIS/Keeler Conceptual study Review/Define Requirements/ Cost Estimate
Milestone / Project Development Date Development Lead Development
Project Outcome
DAPS II 2001 Tech Eval Team Industry Days/AL show/Prop Eval Statement of Need / Specifications
DAPS II 2001 Contract Award ISI Inc. Best Cost Tradeoff System build by ISI.
DAPS II Interference Monitor 2001 Dorsey, Metcalf Midpoint Performance test guide... DAPSIICIMS
DAPS II 2002 MCMath,Whaley DAPSII acceptance tested DAPS II Failed to meet full Mission Requirements.
DAMS NT 2003 Warren Dorsey
Upgrade Demod Integration Evolution from early generation DEMODS
CDMA Study 2004 Marlin Perkins
Microcom Design
Feasibility study Declared feasible Delayed until future time... MORCOM
GOES DCS LRGS/LRIT 2005 ILEX/Perkins McMath/Whaley LRGS /LRIT Extension LRGS servers to GOES DCS User community Code used to generate & send DCS LRIT files
GOES Time Ends 2005 NBS/Whaley Service Terminated due to GPS  
EROS Date Distribution Network May-06 USGS/Schwitalla Microcom Design Geographical selection Multi-agency coordination Operational test and acceptance Geographical distinct site Reliable CDA backup facility 24 x 7 availability
Pilot Control Module (PCM) 2005 Microcom Transponder frequency control upgrade PCM replaced DICE
DADDS Project 2006-2009 Microcom/Bryant Webber/Dorsey Review of DAPPS II Added Data Distribution Initially Enhanced DAPS capabilities DADDS accepted as upgrade to DAPS while less complex than DAPPS II.
Dual Pilot Control Module (PCM) 2008 Microcom/Bryant Transponder frequency control upgrade Added two pilot monitoring
DCP Two Way Study 2006-2007 NOS/Sutron Corp. Small Business Innovation Research Design and testing for prototype Costing currently prohibitive Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum
DCS Status Report 2009 Ernest Dreyer Overall DCS audit Review of Current DCS Status... GOES DCS System
CS2 High Data Rate 2009/2010 NOBLIS/Wolner Dorsey/Whaley Microcom Design STIWG/TWG agreement/support Transition and implementation plan Route Raised Cosine Filtering Added Faster DCS user data reception Doubled systems channel capacity System component upgrades
CS2 HDR Certification V.1B Jun-09
OSD/GSD 8PSK engineering development First CS2 Certified / Sutron Basis for the new HDR DCP Radio Sets SL2-G312-V2
GOES DCS Configuration schematic 2011 Duane Preble Timely system schematic Simplified system configuration... GOES DCS System Config
GOES DCS Interference May 2012 H. Betsill Ionospheric Scintillation Investigation of Atmospheric phenomena on GOES DCS
GOES DCS Pilot Uplink Antennas Mar-13 Honeywell/Dorsey Three Parabolic Dish Antennas More Effective Control of GOES DCS Pilot
Dual Pilot Control Module (PCM) 2013 Warren Dorsey Microcom Function Integration toward elimination of the DICE Upgrade PCM to handle both GOES missions - GOES 'NOP' and GOES-R Series.
DADDS LRIT Upgrade Test 2013 Microcom/Dorsey Test Concept of moving function Improve LRGS LRIT
DCP Two Way Comm. Study 2014/2015 Microcom, Preble Assessment of Requirements to Resurrect the forward Channel Evaluate Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) vs. Frequency Hop spread Spectrum (FHSS) Paper Presentation
DADDS LRIT Upgrade 2015 Microcom/Metcalf Seymore Improved Data Latency, NSOF backup Implemented via NSOF COOP circuits Encourage DCS User to move to begin migration from DOMSAT
GOES DCS HRIT /PDA Extension 2016 Microcom/Solars DADDS HRIT to PDA testing DCS Data Flow via GOES-R HRIT data dissemination
Reporting Methods 2016 Duane Preble self-timed, interrogate. More versatile DCP data reporting... Report Methods
Data Rate 2016 Duane Preble 100 bps, 300 bps, 1200 bps Virtually real time data reception... Data Rate
Message Format 2016 Duane Preble ASCII, Pseudo Binary Improved format efficiency... Message Format
System Capacity 2016 Duane Preble Reporting time windows ,data rate Increased environmental data... System Cap




Satellite Products and Services Division
Direct Services Branch
Phone: 301-817-4436
Mailing Address:
1315 East-West Hwy
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3282     USA