Home Ground Systems GOES DCS 

Project: GOES Data Collection System (DCS) Project
Project Status: test4
NOAA Mission Goal: Climate, Weather & Water Ecosystems
Project Manager: Warren Dorsey, Ground Systems Division

Project Stage:


Project Description: The GOES Data Collection System (DCS) provides a radio relay of real-time meteorological data through the GOES to ground stations throughout CONUS. The primary downlink support stations are at the NOAA NESDIS Wallops Station, VA and at NSOF, in Suitland, MD and at the USGS EDDN station in Sioux Falls, SD. The real-time data are coverage area spans land, sea, or mobile-based data collection platforms (DCP's) with areal coverage extending westward from Western Europe and Africa through the Americas to eastern Australia. This is accomplished via GOES East and GOES West transponders that relay the ground based DCP UHF transmissions to L-band (1694.5 MHz) from where it is down linked via GOES to the ground stations. The GOES DCS has a complement of over 30,000 DCP ground based deployments and a user database of over 500. It also provides no data retrieval outages because it is networked through the three primary ground stations and all of these are networked via the internet. The NOAA NESDIS stations also provide dedicated DOMSAT uplink and NWS telecommunications gateway DCS data distribution. The DCS supports a limited number of reply channels that are common to the other geostationary meteorological satellites operated by Japan and EUMETSAT that enables mobile platforms to use the data collection system.

GSD provides new systems and/or technology refreshes for all elements of the GOES DCS. These efforts include implementation of replacement hardware and software systems with enhanced functional and performance capabilities. RF equipment includes pilot/test transmitters, DAMS demodulators, Dual Pilot Control Modules and specialized analysis and test equipment needed to GOES DCS channel support. Further OSD GSD is responsible for the GOES DCS certification standards and the OSD office director issues all type acceptance certifications for the radio sets that operate in the GOES DCS.

On a daily basis the GOES DCS handles about 600,000 messages; over the next five years this message volume is expected to double.

The four Functional Subsystems are (see figure below):

  • Deployed Data Collection Platforms
  • East and West Spacecraft
  • Command and Data Acquisition Station
  • DOMSAT Data Dissemination Spacecraft


The DCS allows a remote radio set or DCP to transmit through the GOES and back to the NESDIS Wallops Command and Data Acquisition Station (WCDAS) at Wallops, Virginia.  Currently, two GOES satellites - one in the East and one in the West - are used to support DCS mission requirements. From WCDAS, this data is networked to the DCS user community via multiple communications method including Domestic satellite (DOMSAT), National Weather Service‚Äôs Telecommunications Gateway (NWSTG) and NOAAPORT, the Internet and the NESDIS Low Rate Information Transmission (LRIT). The NOAAPORT relay service is not a component of the DCS per se, but rather an additional means of routing DCS data from the NWSTG to users. User resource allocation and administration of the DCS are managed by the NESDIS Office of Satellite and Product Operations (OSPO) in Suitland, Maryland.


GOES transmitter configured for extreme weather conditions. GOES DCS Data Flow Tsunameter Mooring System Remote Automated Weather Station transmitting to GOES.

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