The CSTARS receiving and analysis complex is located on the former U.S. Naval Observatory Secondary National Time Standard Facility, which the University of Miami purchased in 2000. The Richmond Campus consists of 78 acres with several buildings, two 11.3 m antennas, and a 20 m antenna. The 11 m antennas are used for X-band data collection from low-earth orbiting satellites, while the 20m antenna is used to facilitate geosynchronous satellite communications with the Antarctic, supported by the National Science Foundation.
CSTARS was designed and developed as a highly automated, near real-time, multi satellite reception and processing facility. The CSTARS facility consists of three components: Ingest Archive System (IAS); Product Generation System (PGS); Data Exploitation System (DES). The facility is based on two antennas for redundancy and conflict resolution and includes dual units of all key components of the IAS and PGS systems for redundancy and backup. This approach permits highly automated operation and seamless transition to backup units in case of sudden component failure.
Continuous electrical power to the facility is supported by an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) unit for all CSTARS critical systems such as the capture, processing and archiving computers and hardware and then a 400 KVA diesel generator will provide backup power for more than a week in the event of loss of power. Dark fiber optics cables are available and connect the CSTARS site with the University of Miami campus-wide network as well as to the Internet 2. CSTARS, one of four campuses of the University of Miami (UM) is connected to UM’s redundant network ring. This means CSTARS is connected to the world on alternate, independent networks running OC-48 bandwidth. The University of Miami is one of the charter members for the development of the National Lambda Rail (NLR) and Florida Lambda Rail (FLR) that has provided 10 Gbit/s internet connectivity since 2004.
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