SADIS procurement guidelines

Satellite Distribution Service (SADIS)

SADIS is a high quality, cost-effective satellite data distribution system that brings vital flight information to aviation users around the world. It provides a point-to-multi-point service, via satellite, in real-time on a 24-hour basis.

A SADIS 2G installation involves four hardware units:

  • an antenna (normally 1.8 or 2.4 metre diameter),
  • low noise block (LNB),
  • digital receiver (DRO)
  • VadEDGE router 

Most users access the data distributed via SADIS 2G by connecting a workstation to the VadEDGE router. The workstation should provide a suite of appropriate visualisation software.

Requirement to purchase new software and / or hardware

The terms of reference of the ICAO WAFS Operations Group outlines that the group should, among others, produce proposals for the development of the WAFS, in order to ensure that it continues to meet evolving global and, where appropriate, regional operational requirements. As part of these evolving needs, users are required to purchase new software and/or hardware.

In addition, the terms of reference of the ICAO SADIS Operations Group includes provisions to monitor, report on and propose action on technological developments which may have an impact on SADIS.

The WAFSOPSG and SADISOPSG recognise that any proposals for modification to requirements should be made paying due consideration to the ICAO procedures for the amendment of Annex 3 - Meteorological Service for International Air Navigation. Such proposals may result in the need for updated end-user software and/or hardware.
Both the WAFSOPSG and SADISOPSG endorse respective five-year plans, to provide users with a clear information steer on planned modifications to requirements. 

Hardware procurement guidelines

The current SADIS second generation (SADIS 2G) service was launched in 2004, using modern technological advances in satellite communications that enable users to benefit from a more cost-effective solution to its predecessor (SADIS 1G), using readily available hardware.

Advantages of SADIS 2G

  • Primarily engineered around the internet protocol (TCP/IP and UDP multicast) at the client side - compatibility with legacy X.25 workstations can be provided
  • User hardware more cost-effective and readily available from a variety of companies
  • SADIS 2G operates at 64 kbps - less communication overheads.
General purchasing guidelines
  1. Do you want to purchase both hardware and software at the same time or on separate occasions? It is recommended that if you want to purchase them at the same time then you contact the SADIS workstation manufacturers who can provide both hardware and software solutions. If you want to purchase just hardware then it is recommended that you contact the SADIS 2G suppliers - see contact details below.
  2. Consider the levels of on-site installation, training, ongoing support and maintenance that may be required to ensure that you receive the level of service which is acceptable to you.
  3. Check the warranty that comes with the hardware. Is an extended warranty a cost-effective option for you?
  4. Check the delivery schedule for the hardware. Is the timescale acceptable to you? What level of confidence does the supplier have in meeting the schedule? Will the supplier agree to compensation if the delivery schedule is not adhered to?
  5. Suppliers of SADIS 2G hardware: iSat, Paradigm Communications and AEP Networks.

A list of manufacturers and suppliers is available.

Software procurement guidelines

There are a number of different companies providing software for the visualisation of WAFS and alphanumeric OPMET data available from SADIS. You may wish to contact the SADIS team at the Met Office for a list of contact names and addresses for each of these companies.

The Met Office has reviewed many of these packages against a list of criteria which the ICAO SADIS Operations Group has agreed are a required minimum. The results of these reviews are available on-line. Please note that these reviews are not an endorsement or certification of any of these products but an objective review of the ability of these software packages to deliver products to the standards and formats laid down by ICAO. More information about this review process is available from the Met Office SADIS team.

Software procurement guidelines
  1. Can the vendors provide software that fully meets the ICAO standards? Check the results from the Met Office reviews. In particular, be rigorous in checking that the software can produce WAFS SIGWX charts from BUFR and WAFS wind, temperature and relative humidity information from GRIB2 data to acceptable ICAO standards. Does the software have a configurable "attention getter" facility? Will the software inform you automatically when SADIS administrative messages are received? Can the software accept and ingest data automatically via the SADIS FTP service?
  2. Be clear about your requirements.
  3. What level of resilience do you require?
  4. What level of on-site software installation, training, on-going support and maintenance is required?
  5. Importantly, will future software upgrades be provided by the vendors to ensure that the software remains current with ICAO recommendations? How will these be funded? This issue is particularly important with regard to upgrades to the BUFR and GRIB visualisation software.
  6. Contact at least three of the software vendors with a view to receiving quotations for the supply of software and/or hardware.

A list of manufacturers and suppliers is available.

Last updated: 17 December 2013

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