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Met Office to shift Space Weather service to AWS

18/03/20

Mark Say Managing Editor

The Met Office is planning to shift the main components of its Space Weather service from an internal facility to Amazon Web Services’ cloud.

Satellite imagery of North Atlantic storms

It has indicated that the move is aimed at reducing operational costs and the cycle time for changes, and is expected to improve the existing forecasting system.

The agency has begun to look for a delivery partner for the migration in a deal to run for two years and valued at up to £2 million.

It said the contract should provide continuity while developing and supporting DevOps of the Space Weather service

The Met Office operates the Space Weather service on behalf of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as part of the National Risk Assessment mitigation strategy, providing it through the Space Weather Operations Centre to ensure government and critical national infrastructure providers receive forecasts to help mitigate the effects of space weather.

Creating alerts

Its forecasters use the system to visualise and manipulate forecast model data, and to create alerts to bodies such as the armed forces and businesses.

For the past six years the supporting IT development has been delivered with a software developing and testing partner, with requirements set by the agency’s technical lead, project manager, product owner and solutions architect.

The Met Office has recently indicated significant changes for its digital capabilities: in February it announced plans to spend £12 billion on a weather supercomputer to improve its forecasting of severe weather and climate change.

Image: Satellite imagery of North Atlantic storms from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

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