FAA Weather systems
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Lincoln Laboratory contributions to FAA Weather Systems began in the early 1980s and continue to the present, reflecting a natural outgrowth of our work on surveillance radars for the FAA and the U.S. Military. (See Figure 1 for a historical timeline.)
Lincoln Laboratory is currently contributing to the FAA Corridor Integrated Weather System (CIWS) and the Integrated Terminal Weather System (ITWS), as well as the tri-agency (NWS-FAA-DoD) Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD), the FAA Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR; developed as a response to several airline accidents caused by microburst wind shear), and the newly conceived Multimission Phased Array Radar (MPAR). Historically, Lincoln Laboratory has played a significant role in the FAA Air Surveillance Radar Weather System Processor (ASR-WSP).
CIWS provides weather and forecast information in the nation’s critical regions of air traffic congestion—the Great Lakes Corridor and the Northeast Corridor—and will expand to cover the continental U.S. in June 2008. Lessons learned in CIWS will benefit the entire National Airspace System.
The ITWS employs a sensor-fusion approach to provide a long range shared picture of the weather and improved products for terminal safety and efficiency of traffic flow between the en route and terminal transition areas.
Lincoln Laboratory is improving the supportability of TDWR by replacing obsolete signal processing hardware with an open commercial off-the-shelf architecture and also enhancing the sensor's ability to provide wind shear detection services by implementing modern signal processing algorithms to improve the quality of the data generated by the system.
Lincoln Laboratory has implemented FAA-sponsored algorithms into the NEXRAD Open Radar Product Generator that provide improved products tailored to FAA needs, useful to both the FAA weather systems and other users of NEXRAD products such as the National Weather Service and the U.S. Air Force.
A single network of multimission phased-array radars (MPARs) for the nation would reduce the total number of radars required by approximately one-third. This streamlining of the nation’s ground-based weather and aircraft surveillance system would be cost efficient and would provide advanced capabilities for enhanced weather products and aircraft surveillance.
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