The EPIC Contract

EPIC’s Strategic Plan calls for the establishment of “an extramural, virtual center with strong connections to both the research and operational (i.e., National Weather Service) communities.” NOAA’s contracting partner, Raytheon Intelligence and Space (RI&S), has been selected to lead initiatives around software engineering, software infrastructure, community engagement, and delivery of support services to the government, academia, and industry researchers who will collaborate within the EPIC framework. 

RI&S and its partners will be responsible for continuous connections between the research, modeling, and operations communities to communicate and align operational needs, innovation possibilities, and the programs that fund research and development. RI&S is also responsible for access to a hybrid high-performance computing integrated development environment (IDE) that is platform-agnostic. IDE’s are applications for writing code (similar to a word processor for writing text documents), and they come with tools, such as a debugger, used to troubleshoot the code. In addition to the usual features, EPIC’s IDE will offer the tools for users to conduct research in a cloud development environment, which includes access to a code repository, observational data, high-quality documentation, utilities, and user support services, along with community support and engagement.

Contract Phases

Phase One (near term, 2021-2022)

RI&S will provide infrastructure to facilitate innovation and accelerated research to operations to: 1) guide usage of cloud development environments; 2) provide a code repository, observational data, and required tools; and 3) provide community support and increased user engagement. This first phase will improve the global weather element of the Unified Forecast System (UFS), advancing global 7-10 day weather forecasts by incorporating contributions from the external research and modeling community. EPIC will also invite partnerships with other agencies, academia, industry, and the international community and support a user-friendly, well-supported modeling code base from which innovation can flourish. 

Phase Two (mid term, 2023-2025)

RI&S will extend infrastructure and user support for UFS to fully coupled Earth system prediction, transforming the operational suite of models into one modeling system. This work will transform the operational suite of models that are critical to improving forecast skill beyond 3 weeks.

Contract Features

$45M 5-year contract ceiling

Contract Type: Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ)

Prime Contractor: Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a division of Raytheon Company 

Raytheon’s Partners:

Contract Team

Key Personnel:

  • Peter Plofchan, Program Manager (RI&S)
  • Luke Peffers, Chief Engineer (Tomorrow.io)
  • Keven Blackman, Chief Engineer (RI&S)
  • Stylianos (Stelios) Flampouris, Lead Cloud System Architect (Tomorrow.io)
  • Mark Potts, Lead Software Engineer (RedLine)