FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING THE NOAA WEATHER WIRE SYSTEM
Q1. I am a television station (or other commercial end user) currently
using NWWS. What options are available to me for obtaining service on the
Q2. I am a State emergency management organization which currently is
receiving NWWS gratis from the NWS. Do I have to pay DynCorp for a replacement
system? Where do I go for more information.
Q3. How will NWS field offices which do not have NWWS up/down links
verify that their products have been broadcast?
Q4. We had not budgeted for replacement of our existing NWWS equipment.
What can we do?
Q5. Can I see samples of actual products in WMO format?
Q6. Where can I found out about the specialized software being
supplied with the PCs? If I supply my own PC, what are the minimum
Q7. I would like as much time as possible to transition my system
from the old PIL headers to the new WMO headers. Is there anything
you can do to help?
A1. There are several options available.
One is to contact DynCorp for replacement service at (800) 633-2340
or via their Web site . They are
offering three options: C-band, Ku-band, or Internet service. If you want
service equivalent to what you have on the current NWWS, then the C-band
option is appropriate. The benefits and costs of each option are explained
on the Web site.
Another option is to purchase an (Emergency Managers Weather Information
Network) from one of the vendors listed on the EMWIN
Web site. These systems offer an economical way to receive products available
on the NWWS, although it may not be quite as reliable or timely as the
A2. No payment to DynCorp is required. The National Weather Service
will provide the communications equipment, service, and maintenance at
no charge in accordance with the agreement. You must supply a standard
Windows PC to select and monitor the NWWS products, if you do not have
one available. The software to interface that PC with NWWS will also be
provided by NWS. For more information, select the NOAA Weather Wire Service
(NWWS) Transition Information Packet for Emergency Managers (Rev1) from
the current Web site that you are on.
A3. NWS field offices without NWWS equipment will be provided an EMWIN
terminal as a means of verifying that their products have "made it through
the system." The OSO Systems Evaluation Branch is handling the procurement
of these units. Evaluation of available systems is currently in progress
and delivery will be consistent with the overall program schedule.
A4. DynCorp is now offering four and five year financing terms
for the C-band replacement equipment and installation. Please
refer to the
DynCorp Web site
. In addition, DynCorp is also offering discounts on the equipment
and on the network service fees both for the financing and for the purchase,
until June 30. Finally, depending on your requirements,
there are other systems available which can do the job. First, DynCorp
offers Ku-band systems, and Internet access, both at a lower cost than
C-band. Finally, see the Web page from which you just came for a
description of alternative systems, in Section 1.1 under "Other Methods
of Receiving NWS Products." One of these methods may be suitable
for your requirements.
A5. Connect to this
link, provided by DynCorp, to see samples of WMO-formatted products.
A6. All designated State Agencies with an MOU with the NWS, plus
all NWS sites, will be receiving software called SKYTAP, produced by Marta
Corporation. The components are FOSRX (weatherwire data receiver),
Router (background data processing), and SAND (weatherwire viewer).
A description of this softare can be found here.
The minimum and recommended computer requirements are as follows:
Minimum System Requirements
Windows-NT - 233Mhz Processor, 64Mb RAM, 1Gb Hard Drive
Windows-95 - 133Mhz Processor, 32Mb RAM, 1Gb Hard Drive
Windows-98 - 133Mhz Processor, 32Mb RAM, 1Gb Hard Drive
Recommended System Requirements
Windows-NT - 450Mhz Processor, 128Mb RAM, 2Gb Hard Drive
Windows-98 - 450Mhz Processor, 128Mb RAM, 2Gb Hard Drive
Please note that for full funcionality, a computer equipped with Windows
NT is strongly recommended. Specifically it must be running NTFS
with Service Pack 5 or later.
A7. In order to assist end users in the transition, the NWS has
contracted with DynCorp an important modification to the system.
The modification provides that BOTH PIL and WMO headers will be
broadcast on the new NWWS until approximately May 2001, at which time only
WMO headers will be provided. This was done as a service to respond
to end user concerns. In addition, you will still be able to receive
products on your existing NWWS until August 31, 2000, compared to the original
planned switchover date of May 31. Note, however, that it is important
to order replacement equipment as soon as possible to preclude the possibility
of a service disruption at your facility.