Rotating a weather map
June 1, 1999
Dr. Dobb's J., Vol. 24, No. 6, June 1999, pp. 80-88.
Introduction: I was recently part of a project developing a system for aircraft pilots to access the national ground weather-radar database while in flight. This weather-radar graphical database is generated from the outputs of the FAA and National Weather Service network of radars covering the continental United States and is updated every five minutes. Each pixel in the database covers a square measuring two kilometers (about one nautical mile) on a side. The content of each data pixel is a measure of the radar reflectivity measured at that location - radar reflectivity is proportional to the water content in the atmosphere (the precipitation rate). This graphical database is available through several commercial vendors - it's what you see displayed on The Weather Channel or during typical TV weather reports. Our system, on the other hand, provides a low-speed digital datalink connection from an FAA ground computer to an avionics computer/display located in the aircraft cockpit.