NGA, NWS shopping for data — GCN

Andrew M. Santos

NGA, NWS shopping for data

The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and the National Weather Service (NWS) are both looking to cover gaps in their data holdings.

NGA put out a call for off-the-shelf geophysical data it can buy from external sources to supplement gaps in its global data coverage, according to a Feb. 1 solicitation. NGA said it also wants to uncover new sources of restriction-free geophysical and geologic data, especially gravity data, which will be used to improve the navigation products it has developed for the Defense Department and for general use by industry and academia. Magnetic data, seismic reflection data, soils data, hydrographic data and well log data is also of interest.

The intelligence agency has created a Geophysical Data Purchasing contract to streamline and expedite the data acquisition process and wants a data broker that can provide geophysical data by type and location, within 15 days of an order from NGA. The broker must also find and propose new data sources as well as ensure any off-the-shelf data NGA may purchase is free of viruses, malware and other security issues.

More emphasis on off-the-shelf data purchases will deliver “appreciable updates and improved geographic coverage in NGA products,” the agency said.

Meanwhile, the NWS is looking for a source of ground-based water vapor observation data – collectively known as GPS Metrology data. Previously, it received data from satellites managed by the Global Systems Division at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  In 2016, though, GSD moved the project to the private sector, which could better advance, operationalize and scale the technology.

Now, NWS is looking for a contractor who can gather real-time raw data from at least 330 GPS observation stations in the western hemisphere, process it into the data formats NWS needs and deliver it as a service every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, 356 days a year, according to a Feb. 1 request for proposals.

Prospective contractors must describe their capabilities, including raw GPS data rights with observation sites, communications protocols, infrastructure and network security as well as their engineering and scientific expertise to maintain and operate such a system.

NWS stresses that the capability must be in place on Day One; it is not interested in the build-out of the network as the data is “critically important for National Weather Service forecast and modeling operations to protect property and save lives.”

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