NOAA KLM User's Guide

Appendix F

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APPENDIX F: Ordering Retrospective Data

Orders for retrospective AVHRR and TOVS Level lb data can be placed through either the on-line Comprehensive Large Array-data Stewardship System (CLASS) or the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). However, users desiring NESDIS operational AVHRR or TOVS products must acquire these products directly from NCDC. Details of each service is described below. In any case, complete file copies or selective extracts of datasets can be made and delivered via various methods such as magnetic tape or file transfer protocol (FTP).

Data may be obtained via FTP free of charge through CLASS. CLASS is NOAA's electronic library of environmental satellite data and can be accessed at More information on CLASS can be found in Section 9.9.

All requests for digital tapes (and or hardcopy prints), etc. should be addressed to:

National Climatic Data Center
Climate Services Division
151 Patton Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801-5001
United States
Phone: 828-271-4850
Fax: 828-271-4876
Internet address:

Standing orders will be accepted for certain specified products to be produced on a regular basis. Contact NCDC for more details.

Generally, orders for retrospective satellite data will be filled within five to ten working days with additional time allowed for shipment in the case of magnetic tapes. Faster processing times will be considered on a case by case basis and in some cases the data can be staged for FTP delivery. Users may request routine delivery of datasets for a specified coverage by placing a standing order. Arrangements to confirm delivery of each day's pass within 24 hours of the time of data collection can be made with NCDC.

Users wishing information about "near real-time" service should contact NCDC at the above telephone number. Users may request routine delivery of datasets for a specified coverage by placing a standing order. Arrangements to confirm delivery of each day's pass within 24 hours of the time of data collection can be made with NCDC.

Orders placed through NCDC must be prepaid. The cost of the data is based on several factors and will be determined at the time the details of the request are known. Since charges for both (hardcopy) imagery and digital satellite data are subject to change, they are contained in a separate document called, NCDC's Products and Services Guide, which is available from NCDC upon request or can be downloaded from the NCDC web site at URL:

NCDC will accept the following types of prepayments:

1) Credit cards - AMERICAN EXPRESS, VISA and MASTERCARD (must be accompanied by full account number, name of card holder and expiration date).

2) Checks/money orders - in U.S. funds drawn on a U.S. bank.

3) Deposit accounts - a minimum deposit of $1000 is required.

As mentioned above, because of the custom nature of most requests for satellite data and information, it is not always possible for NCDC to establish a firm price quotation for its data and information. One-time-only or intermittent users are encouraged to contact the NCDC for a price estimate (valid for 60 days) and then send a check, money order or credit card information as advance payment. Multiple-time requesters are encouraged to set up an account (minimum deposit of $1000) which can be drawn upon over a period of time.

Underpayment for an order will result in the order not being processed until the full payment is received.

NCDC guarantees the readability of each of its digital media for 60 days. If a user experiences problems with media shipped from NCDC, they must notify NCDC within 60 days of receipt of the media. If there is a problem which is a result of an error of NCDC's or if the media is unreadable or contains read errors,the media will be replaced free of charge. However, if the problem is due to misinformation given by the user, the user will have to pay for reprocessing of the data.

NCDC archives NOAA polar orbiter satellite data that it receives from NESDIS. However, NCDC is not responsible for the quality of the data itself. NCDC reads each archive tape upon receipt for I/O errors. But, if the data itself is "bad", chances are that the data cannot be recovered. Every output tape goes through quality control software in NCDC before being shipped to a user.

When ordering data from NCDC, the following parameters should be specified to insure delivery of the desired data:

Some of these parameters are redundant but may assist NCDC in providing the user with the exact data desired.

Amended September 17, 2002

Amended January 5, 2005

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