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The Comprehensive Large Array-data Stewardship System (CLASS) is NOAA’s information technology system designed to support long-term, secure preservation and standards-based access to environmental data collections and information. The NOAA National Data Centers are responsible for the ingest, quality control, stewardship, archival storage of and public access to data and science information. The CLASS system is modeled to support the NOAA-adopted Open Archival Information System-Reference Model (OAIS-RM), which identifies high-level roles and responsibilities of various archival components and illustrates the connections between functional entities in order to fulfill archive requirements.


With the prospect of higher data-rate earth observation systems planned for deployment and the incorporation of existing NOAA data collections into the Data Centers, management of these exponentially increasing volumes of environmental data will require a rapid expansion in storage capacity, additional access methods, and improved automation of data ingest, archive and quality control. Together, the NOAA National Data Centers, utilizing the IT infrastructure of CLASS, will provide the necessary ingredients to fulfill NOAA's data stewardship mission.


Currently, the NOAA National Data Centers support POES, DMSP, GOES, MetOp, Jason-2 data, and selected model reanalysis data within the CLASS infrastructure. Future satellite-based collections planned for archival storage in the system include NPP, JPSS (formerly NPOESS), GOES-R, Jason-3, and planned Earth-based observing systems include NEXRAD products. To ensure the preservation of these data, the distributed system replicates data and metadata holdings automatically to operational nodes at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, NC, and the National Geophysical Data Center in Boulder, CO. System development and integration is located at NOAA’s Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, MD and is managed by the Office of Systems Development Ground Systems Division.

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