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Remote Sensing / Fire Weather Support Unit Statement of Services

Remote Sensing / Fire Weather Support Unit

Statement of Services  (02/23/2017)

RSFWSU Mission

The mission of the Remote Sensing / Fire Weather Support Unit (RSFWSU) is to service and support Remote Automatic Weather Stations (RAWS) according to interagency agreements and the Interagency Wildland Fire Weather Station Standards & Guidelines (PMS 426-3).

The accomplishment of this mission helps provide accurate and reliable environmental data for wildland fire preparedness and suppression operations, and contributes to fire fighter safety and the protection of life and property.

The RSFWSU also services and supports other special use weather and environmental monitoring equipment that contribute to wildland fire management, resources permitting, according to written agreement.

Accordingly, the RSFWSU offers the following services to state, federal and local government organizations in support of wildland fire management:

   I.     RAWS Maintenance Services:

               a.   Depot Service – The RSFWSU performs depot level repair, refurbishment and calibration of specified RAWS components and sensors to meet PMS 426-3 standards. This service is a cooperative effort that requires customer participation and contribution to the collective interagency pool of RAWS components. In order to facilitate efficient component and sensor exchange, the following procedures are established:

                         i.   Before the expiration of the sensor calibration/replacement date as established by 426-3 standards (or upon component failure), customer orders replacement item(s).

                        ii.   Upon receipt of order, RSFWSU ships replacement item to be received within 10 business days, unless otherwise coordinated to accommodate an emergency situation.

                       iii.   Customer replaces component and ships expired/failed item to RSFWSU within 14 business days of receipt. Expired/failed components that are not received at RSFWSU within 30 days of original shipment are considered overdue. If unable to provide return, customer must purchase and provide new replacement item to clear account. No further transactions will be conducted with customer until replacement is received. (Note: Depending on type of RAWS serviced, battery replacement may be accomplished through local vendor reimbursement according to manufacturer’s recommended lifecycle.)

                             Note: Customer must apply for access to WXx-Weather and use this web application to order all items. Select “Request User Access” at

               b.  Modified Service – RSFWSU technicians perform annual field maintenance and calibration onsite to include the          following actions:

                         i.   Establish a maintenance cycle for each station.  Annual calibration/replacement service will be performed onsite to ensure that each station meets 426-3 standards.  (Unscheduled station support and technical assistance will be provided via the RSFWSU Help Desk.) 

                        ii.   Annually assess the weather station for compliance with 426-3 standards relating to station location, vegetation management or any other concerns or problems. Identify deficiencies to the local unit and record in appropriate database.  

                       iii.   Maintain record of accomplished maintenance in appropriate database.

               c.   Full Service - RSFWSU technicians perform annual field maintenance and calibration onsite, as well as unscheduled/emergency repairs according to 426-3 standards.

               d.   Portable Return Service - RSFWSU performs depot repair, refurbishment and calibration of entire Portable RAWS units according to 426-3 standards. The following procedures are established:

                         i.   Customer sends entire Portable RAWS unit to the RSFWSU annually.

                        ii.   Upon receipt, RSFWSU will refurbish and recalibrate to 426-3 standards and return within 90 days, or notify receiving unit if unable to do so. 

                              Note: We recommend the Portable Return contract for portable stations to ensure complete unit care. However, a Depot Service contract may be requested for portable stations if customers desire to exchange portable unit components by themselves.

               e.   Service exceptions - Customers are responsible for components that are damaged beyond normal repair.  Maintenance actions will be suspended until replacement components are received. Customers with Full and Modified service agreements must provide helicopter flights or special transportation to any stations not accessible by road. Full and Modified Services fees only apply to RAWS locations in the western US (lower 48).  Locations outside of that area may be offered service on a cost-plus basis as feasible.

               f.   Station Installation - Both Full and Modified options will provide, if required, initial station installation. The installation date will be negotiated as appropriate within the 12 month period of service. The customer is responsible for site selection, access, and preparation prior to station installation, as well as erecting a suitable site enclosure. Unless otherwise coordinated, new station hardware must be delivered to the RSFWSU for check-out and preparation prior to installation.

   II.     Special Services:

               a.   Incident RAWS support - The RSFWSU supports Incident RAWS kits (NFES 5869) for dispatch via ROSS per the National Interagency Mobilization Guide and PMS 449-1.  This equipment is available for response to wildland fire, prescribed fire and all risk incidents. When released from an incident or deployment, the units are returned to RSFWSU for refurbishment and recalibration.

               b.   Research & Development - The RSFWSU is the interagency focal point for RAWS and remote environmental monitoring research and development issues, and will provide technical assistance and information through the interagency Fire Environment Observation Unit (FEOU) as requested.

               c.   Data Transmission, Distribution and Administration – The RSFWSU will assist RAWS network users with data transmission, distribution and system administration. Specifically, the RSFWSU will coordinate with NOAA to provide time and frequency assignments to approved users for data transmission via Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES). The RSFWSU will also give approved users the necessary access and authority to the Weather Module of the Wildland Fire Management Information application (WXx Weather). WXx Weather is the system of record for RAWS metadata, and a required interface for customers with the RSFWSU.

               d.   Help Desk – Phone assistance for all services is available to RAWS network users via the RSFWSU Help Desk at 1-208-387-5475, 8:00 to 4:30 MT, Monday-Friday, except federal holidays.

               e.   Training – The RSFWSU provides syllabus, curriculum, training aids, and instructors for RAWS maintenance training courses. These courses are offered six times annually and scheduled by the Geographic Area Training Representatives (GATR). This training is principally for customers who maintain their stations via RSFWSU Depot Service or Portable Return contract options.

   III.     General Services:

                     All inquiries with regard to the RSFWSU, the RAWS network, RAWS maintenance, or archived RAWS data can be directed to:

                     RSFWSU Manager
                     Robbie Swofford


   IV.     Service Contract Fees:

                     Maintenance service contract fees can be paid through a variety of methods including credit card, MIPR and/or IPAC.

Type contract Annual fee per station
Depot $900
Portable Return $1,100
Modified $2,500
Full $3,500

1RSFWSU Mission Statement and Operations Plan dated 10/29/04