Enhanced Data Systems Ready at Tropical Western Pacific Sites

Published: 30 September 2010

Cory Stuart checks out the data flow in Darwin, Australia, upon completion of networking system and computer upgrades in August.
Through funding from the Recovery Act, all the ARM sites are receiving new and upgraded instruments. The amount of data generated by these instruments—particularly the new scanning cloud and precipitation radars—is expected to increase by several factors. To support this increase in data volume, ARM data system engineers are installing enhanced computing and network infrastructure throughout the user facility.

In August, they completed the upgrades at ARM’s Tropical Western Pacific sites in Darwin, Australia, and Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, which are each receiving nearly two dozen new instruments. These data system enhancements support the coming increase in data flow as well as larger data storage and preprocessing of data sets.

Before the upgrades, each instrument at the Darwin and Manus sites used a dedicated computer and server to collect data. With the new radars alone estimated to generate up to 15 gigabytes of raw data per day, upgrades to the data system included servers responsible for virtualizing the data system components and networking infrastructure. This means the data systems for all the site instruments are now run on a single server.

In addition to ensuring adequate data flow, the upgrades provide increased data storage space for a local archive to confirm the integrity of the data once it is received at the central ARM Data Management Facility. These upgrades also decreased the amount of energy required to run the data systems.