NOAA and N-Wave Updates

A decade of research support

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s N-Wave network securely and efficiently transports critical data needed to make sense of a changing world.

2020 marked the 10-year anniversary of N-Wave. For the entirety of this decade-long history, N-Wave has partnered with GlobalNOC to build and operate the network—which has grown and evolved tremendously in this time.

In 2020, N-Wave expanded to support more than just NOAA, as other U.S. Department of Commerce agencies joined the network. N-Wave gives these new agencies enhanced security through its Trusted Internet Connection (TIC) services, lowered networking costs, and faster access to cloud resources as these agencies transition to cloud-based services.

New agencies served by N-Wave beginning in 2020 include:

  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
  • U.S. Department of Commerce headquarters at the Herbert C. Hoover Building (HCHB)

In addition to connecting new agencies, N-Wave grew its cloud services in 2020. This included new higher speed 100Gbps connectivity to major cloud peering locations, and the creation of the N-Wave Cloud Brokerage Network to support cloud connectivity from multiple brokers.

N-Wave also collaborated with the Mid-Atlantic Crossroads (MAX) network and GlobalNOC to build out a new enterprise data center in the Washington, D.C., area to support data center consolidation and reduce the cost of IT for the Department of Commerce.

None of these new services and scale would be possible without keeping a close eye on the network, ensuring it is highly available and performing at its best. To this end, GlobalNOC developers worked with N-Wave to build a customized dynamic dashboard to be used by the NOAA Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) to obtain regular updates and daily briefings as well as provide visibility into the status of this critical infrastructure.


N-Wave is a highly scalable, stable, and secure network built using 10GB per second Wave Division Multiplexed (WDM) fiber-optic links supplied by its partners in the national R&E network community including Internet2 and the GlobalNOC.

Partnering with NESDIS

Example of real-time imagery from EUMETSAT Meteosat satellites

GlobalNOC is partnering with NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service (NESDIS) to build an operations prototype for a shared overlay network that is used by NOAA and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) to exchange environmental satellite data between the agencies.

This prototype provides a dashboard that integrates operations and performance data from networks in the United States and Europe that participate in the overlay. The system will allow NOAA and EUMETSAT to have an integrated view of the operation of the entire overlay network, as well as feed this data to a network operations center for coordination—ensuring performance and minimizing network impacting events such as overlapping maintenances that could affect sharing of satellite data between the agencies.