The design and validation of the ITWS synthetic sensor data generator
April 12, 2000
The Integrated Terminal Weather System (ITWS) is an aviation safety and air traffic management decision support system that acquires data from various FAA and NWS sensors and generates a number of products for dissemination to FAA facilities managing air traffic in the terminal area. The development and demonstrations of ITWS have been conducted over a multi-year period at several major airports (Memphis, TN, Orlando, FL, Dallas, TX, and New York, NY). Although there are many meteorological events observed at these four airports, the experimental test data sets obtained will not fully suffice for ITWS qualification testing because of limitations in the severity of the weather events and because of the sensor configurations available at these locations. This report describes the design and validation of the Synthetic Data Generator (SDG), which is a tool to provide a production ITWS system with meteorologically consistent scenarios and full ITWS sensor configurations that will create maximal computational loads that can be expected when the system is deployed. Also, the SDG will be a tool for ongoing ITWS maintenance and support. As such, the SDG will complement the extensive experimental data sets collected at the four ITWS demonstration sites. The SDG is designed to specify parameters for a collection of meteorological models describing the various weather phenomena, their motion, appearance, and growth/decay. The software creates several three-dimensional (3D) grids of reflectivity and velocity at each time-step. Finally, the SDG generates sensor (i.e., TDWR, NEXRAD, ASR-9) data by applying the model for each specific sensor's measurements to the 3D grids. The validation of the meteorological model and the sensor model data have been accomplished using a display tool and by assessing results numerically.