Career News

September 9, 2020

Peraton Works to Improve Access to Open Source Geospatial Weather Data

Peraton employees regularly participate in independent research and development (IRAD) programs to explore avenues to improve technology and develop new software solutions that will benefit current and future customers’ missions. As a result of one of Peraton’s recent IRADs, engineers have developed a solution to improve access to critical government weather data.

Peraton has a longstanding commitment to enabling the collection, processing and delivery of satellite weather data and insights. Working with NOAA since 2009 to support extreme weather monitoring, Peraton has the mission critical expertise to support the continuous flow of information that assists in forecasting, federal warnings, evacuations plans, and more.

Peraton Works to Improve Access to Open Source Geospatial Weather Data

NOAA is the central repository for all weather data. Recognizing opportunities to help improve NOAA’s vital mission to collect, discover, and disseminate environmental data, Peraton engineered a geographic information system (GIS) framework to help address these priorities. The resulting open source solution—relevant to the needs of NOAA and a wide range of other organizations managing weather data—is cloud-ready, and already being used as the basis of a customer project.

Peraton developed the capability to geo-locate any datatype using Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards, establishing an ingest feed of datatypes running at the latest versions used universally.

The IRAD team has implemented three OGC services in their demonstration: web coverage service, web feature service, and web mapping service, along with a specialized subscription management service. With these features, authorized users can automatically access satellite data files in a catalog, pull out specific data points, and display map and coverage data at any latitude and longitude. Users can also layer data to create applicable products.

This unsiloed system uses a common language, allowing for machine-to-machine communications, such as data requests and responses. The cloud-based capability is agnostic and can move from one cloud environment to another as needed, supporting NOAA’s long-term goal of shifting its extensive IT infrastructure to the cloud. Any geolocatable data can be stored and displayed on this kind of system, such as the district-by-district voting results for a presidential election.

Dan Beall, Peraton’s senior NOAA expert, views the future of weather data processing architecture like a “big data lake in the cloud with services floating around it that users can use on-demand to access and to manipulate that data.”

The IRAD team is currently working with a Peraton customer to expand these geospatial services, including adding two-factor authentication to protect restricted data from unauthorized access; adding data visualization features; incorporating additional OGC services such as web mapping tile service and web processing service; and integrating model and forecast data.

Peraton’s GIS solution currently runs on GeoServer, an open source server, but can be set up on any third-party server, such as ArcGIS or Esri.

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