NOAA has announced that Diversified Global Partners Joint Venture, LLC has been selected for a contract award to provide information technology (IT) services for the planning, development and maintenance of the Comprehensive Large Array-data Stewardship System (CLASS), an online clearinghouse for past, present and future environmental data. The contract has a value of $2,768,433 for the 2008 fiscal year, with the potential for future task order awards.

For weather forecasters, CLASS features IT components that provide quick access to NOAA's archived data, allowing them to compare current and previous storms. CLASS IT also enables access to data that will help researchers track climate trends. CLASS has served more than 35,000 users and delivered more than 25 million files since it debuted in 2001. Users can search through and order 43 types of atmospheric, coastal and ocean data products.

"The future of earth sciences will focus less on how we collect data and more on what we do with it to provide products that improve lives," said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "CLASS, as part of the GEOSS 'system of systems,' will allow us to use the data we have in new and exciting ways."

NOAA's National Climatic Data Center and National Geophysical Data Center are transitioning CLASS to their regular operations for data from NOAA's polar-orbiting and geostationary satellites, and the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. In the future, CLASS will address data from NOAA's ground-based observing systems, including, data buoys and NEXRAD Doppler weather radars.

"CLASS will enable NOAA to efficiently manage the dramatic increase in data for our current and future satellite and ground-based observation systems," said Mary E. Kicza, assistant administrator for NOAA's Satellite and Information Service, the agency that oversees CLASS. "The IT services from Diversified Global Partners Joint Venture, LLC will help satisfy the growing needs for environmental information from our wide array of users."