New products for the NEXRAD ORPG to support FAA critical systems
February 9, 2002
A number of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) critical systems rely on products from the NEXRAD (WSR-88D) suite of algorithms. These systems include MIAWS (Medium Intensity Airport Weather System), ITWS (Integrated Terminal Weather System), CIWS (Corridor Integrated Weather System), and WARP (Weather and Radar Processing). With the advent of the NEXRAD Open Radar Product Generator (ORPG), a six-month build cycle has been established for the incorporation of new or improved algorithms. This build cycle provides the mechanism for the integration of new products into the algorithm suite tailored to the needs of these FAA systems now and into the future. Figure 1 is useful for visualizing the MIT/LL ORPGnet. Four of the ORPGnet systems are located at MIT/LL headquartered in Lexington, MA. These four systems form the core of the development center where algorithms are developed for and implemented into the ORPG environment. Part of the development process includes examination of algorithm products created from past weather. A number of utilities are available for playback of various versions of NEXRAD Archive II base data: from tape or disk files in standard or LDM formats. Additionally, MIT/LL operates the CIWS demonstation project for the FAA. The ORPG clones at the development center have access to base data from 26 NEXRAD radars from the Midwest to the East Coast of the United States ingested for CIWS. The FAA has tasked the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Laboratory (MIT/LL) with developing algorithms for the ORPG to address their systems' needs. Many of these algorithms will also prove useful to other users of NEXRAD products such as the National Weather Service and the Department of Defense. MIT/LL has created a network of ten ORPGs, or an ORPGnet, to use for the purpose of developing, testing, and implementing new algorithms targeted to specific builds. The benefits of the ORPGnet will be discussed in more detail later in this paper. MIT/LL has provided improvements to existing algorithms or developed new algorithms for the first three build cycles of the ORPG (Istok et al., 2002; Smalley and Bennett, 2002). Development of more algorithms is currently in progress for upcoming build cycles. In addition to describing ORPGnet, this paper will focus on its use in the development of a new Data Quality Assurance (DQA) algorithm, an improved High Resolution VIL (HRVIL) algorithm, and progress on the development of the enhanced Echo Tops (EET) algorithm; as well as the symbiotic relationship of these algorithms to the FAA critical systems.