FCDAS ground station at Gilmore Creek
The National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) was created by NOAA to manage the nation’s environmental satellite programs and data. This includes managing the data gathered by these satellites and processing institutions. NESDIS operates the Fairbanks Command & Data Acquisition Station (FCDAS), a station that was established in 1961 and is currently one of the busiest ground receiving stations in the world. FCDAS’s primary mission is to capture data from NOAA’s environmental satellites. However, FCDAS supports many other US and foreign missions and is key, global partner in support of Arctic science and operations.
GINA works with the FCDAS to receive, process, and distribute satellite data for Alaska and the Arctic. GINA maintains a high-speed, dedicated leased line between FCDAS and the UAF campus. Satellite data flows from FCDAS to GINA’s and others’ processing center to create custom products serving the Alaska region. Examples of collaboration include capture and processing of DMSP data and work with partner CIRA , real-time data from NOAA POES satellites, and other Alaska Region NWS operational science supported through the NOAA High Latitude Proving Ground".
In another long-term collaboration, FCDAS captures data from the Landsat 5 satellite.
Barrow Reception Station
Additionally, FCDAS operates a reception station in Barrow, Alaska, the farthest north point in the state. This station captures several additional satellite passes each day that are not visible from Fairbanks. Because the station is so far north, its view is far over the top of the Pole, giving forecasters a much better look at storms developing in the Arctic and moving towards Alaska.
In 2008 the Alaska Environmental Satellite Workshop was held in Fairbanks to examine the state’s satellite data needs and to determine what resources are available to support the satellite system. A Draft Implementation Plan for NOAA’s Satellite Proving Ground in Alaska and product stacks for Alaska and the Arctic were outcomes of the workshop.
High Latitude and Arctic Proving Ground
In 2009 the High Latitude and Arctic Proving Ground Workshop was held in Fairbanks to update satellite resources in Alaska and further support for the Proving Ground.