Monday, 10 February 2003
The NCF—How Does it Operate—an Updated Look
The AWIPS Network Control Facility (NCF) located at the National Weather Service (NWS) in Silver Spring, Maryland, serves as the emergency call center for AWIPS. In this capacity, the NCF engineers are constantly addressing problems ranging from a minor issue on a single component at a site to major outages that affect multiple sites. However, the NCF is more than just a help center, it also serves as the communication hub for the entire AWIPS network. The more than 150 AWIPS sites nationwide depend on the NCF to disseminate their critical forecasts and warnings. This paper is an update to last year’s look at how the NCF operates on a daily basis. The paper will examine some of the major innovations underway and planned for the NCF to improve its support and service in the two main functional areas: help desk and the communication hub. The discussion will include the infusion of Linux-based servers to speed up the NCF’s processing power and efficiency, expansion of the satellite broadcast network, and the addition of a backup NCF facility in West Virginia.