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NCDC Employees Receive NOAA Gold Medal Award

Photo of NCDC 2014 Gold Medal Award Winners

NCDC’s 2014 Gold Medal Award Winners
Top Row: Jesse Glance, Drew Saunders, Kern Witcher, and James Goudouros
Bottom Row: Jay Morris, Nancy Ritchey, Axel Graumann, and Dean Carter

NCDC’s Dean Carter, Drew Saunders, Jay Morris, Kern Witcher, Nancy Ritchey, Jesse Glance, James Goudouros, and Axel Graumann along with Rick Vizbulis of the Office of Systems Development have been awarded the NOAA Gold Medal Award for their support of the October 2011 launch of the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) satellite, which required unprecedented coordination throughout the program.

The S-NPP satellite represents the greatest advancement in weather and climate remote sensing in over a generation, providing over 10 times more information than any previous NOAA environmental satellite. As members of the Comprehensive Large Array-Data Stewardship System (CLASS) team, these NCDC employees assumed responsibility for the program, readied the system for rigorous testing, successfully completed those tests, and were ready at S-NPP launch for the safe storage, stewardship, and access to this tremendously large data stream in less than a year. Through the team’s efforts, NCDC was also able to provide key data flows to NASA and NOAA’s Center for Satellite Applications and Research, following launch to aid in sensor characterization and calibration.

Since the launch of S-NPP, CLASS has quadrupled its archive and dissemination of weather data from 500 gigabytes to 5.5 terabytes per day—it would take over 8,000 CD-ROMs each day, stacking up over 200 feet high, to hold that much data! Since the launch of S-NPP, CLASS now holds over 4,000 terabytes, and its performance has also improved measurably. Through the accomplishments of the CLASS team, customer service turn-around time improved by as much as 1,200%.

Congratulations to Dean Carter, Drew Saunders, Jay Morris, Kern Witcher, Nancy Ritchey, Walter Glance, James Goudouros, Axel Graumann, and Rick Vizbulis!