ASRC Federal, in conjunction with Quintillion and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), marked the launch of an Arctic broadband Point of Presence (PoP) in Utqiaġvik, Alaska during an event on Saturday, September 7, 2019. The event was held in support of NOAA satellite operations and economic development on the North Slope.
The ribbon-cutting was held at the NOAA Barrow Atmospheric Baseline Observatory, with executives and leaders from NOAA, ASRC, ASRC Federal and Quintillion in attendance.
“The higher connectivity rate for satellite data is going to be great for us as we look to develop satellites and new capabilities, said Dr. Stephen Volz, Assistant Administrator for NOAA Satellite and Information Services. “Understanding that near real-time data and its distribution to the National Weather Service [for integration with models] and data distribution to our other operational users is a big element for us moving forward as we look to work with our partners to take advantage of this high latitude capability.”
“As the government services subsidiary of ASRC, ASRC Federal is uniquely positioned to shine a technology-focused spotlight on the Arctic and Alaska to federal agencies through our partnerships and ongoing support of our customers’ missions,” added Clay Morad, ASRC Federal Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. “We look forward to a continued partnership with NOAA on this endeavor and on future missions.”
The new PoP enables NOAA to efficiently allocate more bandwidth and distribute satellite data to the Fairbanks Command and Data Acquisition Station (FCDAS), harnessing the power of high-speed internet in support of scientific missions. Additionally, the new broadband capability opens the door for additional business in the Arctic and aims to improve the lives of local residents by bringing modern-day technology and jobs to the connected communities.
Prior to fiber optic cable being laid and the PoP installation, data flows from the North Slope to the rest of the world via domestic satellite links were notoriously slow with high latency and low bandwidth, and proved to be unreliable during inclement weather or poor satellite positions relative to the sun.