Sustaining GOES Data Collection System
and Planning for the Future

The GOES DCS Program is pursuing ongoing system improvements to modernize the system, improve system security, mitigate radio frequency interference, and improve user access. NOAA welcome’s public comment on these projects.

Data Collection Platform (DCP) Automated Position Reporting and System Information

DCP operators are required (through System Use Agreement) to include the position of DCPs in the field. This information is stored as part of the Platform Data Table (PDT) in the DCS Administration and Data Distribution System (DADDS). This position data is important for several reasons, including identifying malfunctioning DCPs that cause radiofrequency interference (RFI). Much of the current DCP position data is incorrect or absent. NOAA is developing a communication protocols structure that would allow users and manufacturers to program DCPs to transmit position data under certain parameter. For example, a newly deployed DCP could report its position, which would be received in DADDS and automatically populated the appropriate PDT. Additional logic can be implemented that prevents this activity if it has been done recently (e.g. system resets for troubleshooting).

Additionally, this protocol provides the opportunity to send additional platform data that might be useful to NOAA, users, manufacturers. For example, the data could include software or firmware version, radio types, battery levels, etc.

One available this capability is being initially approached as a voluntary option for users. However, if significant user noncompliance in position reporting continues it may become a mandated system requirement.

The current implementation study and proposal can be viewed at these links:

–  Lat-Lon-TxID Implementation Study (pdf)
–  Lat-Lon-TxID Specification (pdf)

Data Collection Platform Communication Protocols – Compaction and Open Binary

GOES DCS has long operated using only two protocols: ASCII and Pseudobinary. These protocols can be amended to use data symbols more efficiently and obtain compaction rates of 25-50% depending on application. The ability to reduce message size, reduce transmission time, or increase data size in an existing transmission time slot offer benefits to NOAA and users. Furthermore, GOES GOES DCS has long planned to implement a pure binary protocol to provide an even more efficient way to transmit messages.

These protocols are being approached as a voluntary option at present and are not intended to negatively affect existing platforms. The current proposal can be viewed here.

Data Collection Platform Commanding (DCPC) / Two-way Communication

NOAA geostationary satellites have long had a transponder that facilitates UHF communication back to Data Collection Platforms in the western hemisphere. This latent capability has not been used in decades but provides a key capability to modernize DCS into a dynamic system that can adapt to emerging needs. This system can be used to send commands to DCPs remotely for any number of purposes that may eliminate the need for a DCS user to physically visit the site.

NOAA has performed several studies and tests in order to restore this capability on the GOES DCS. Most recently the DCS Program has completed a successful end-to-end test sending commands from the DADDS interface to affect a remote DCP configuration change (change channels, turn the transmitter off, etc.). NOAA is currently working on a receiver reference design to share with industry and users. It is hoped this design in combination with upgrades to DCS DADDS will create the necessary infrastructure to jump-start industry development of DCPC units and commercial availability to users needing this capability.

The current proposal can be viewed here.

The DCPC capability is intended as a voluntary option for users. However, the future of this capability on the GeoXO constellation (planned replacements for the GOES) will be predicated on acceptance and use on GOES. It is highly recommended that users who desire DCPC signal their commitment to this capability so this capability can be supported by NOAA.

U.S. federal agencies that would like show their support for this capability can signal their commitment by completing this form and sending to the DCS Program Office.

All other agencies, groups or entities (including all non-U.S. users) can show their support for this capability by completing this form and sending it to the DCS Program Office.