13th Conference on Applied Climatology and the 10th Conference on Aviation, Range, and Aerospace Meteorology

Monday, 13 May 2002
Progress Report on the Integrated Terminal Weather System's GFMosaic Algorithm
Justin D. Shaw, MIT Lincoln Lab., Lexington, MA; and S. W. Troxel
Poster PDF (188.5 kB)
The ability to detect gust fronts and other significant wind shifts is an important capability of the Integrated Terminal Weather System (ITWS). The Initial Operational Capability (IOC) of ITWS will use a version of the Machine Intelligent Gust Front Algorithm (MIGFA) to identify and track gust fronts using data from a single Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR). At large TRACON sites covered by more than one TDWR (e.g. New York, Chicago, Dallas), a high-level mapping algorithm fuses products generated by the individual MIGFAs into a TRACON-wide map of gust front detections. This product-level mapping approach can produce fragmented and incomplete detections under certain conditions. Real-time operations at the DFW ITWS test site, have revealed that the IOC gust front detection capability at a large TRACON can be improved.

A new approach has been developed that combines data from multiple TDWRs within a TRACON domain, prior to output of final gust front detections, without requiring an extensive change to the current IOC gust front product generation architecture. The Gust Front Mosaic algorithm (GFMosaic) merges intermediate products called "interest fields" generated by each MIGFA in the TRACON domain, and extracts gust front detections from the combined interest field utilizing existing MIGFA subroutines. By fusing the data before the products are generated, the algorithm is able to produce more complete and accurate detections across the entire TRACON domain.

To make the GFMosaic algorithm IOC compliant, it must also provide wind shear and post-frontal wind information to Air Traffic Control (ATC) personnel. This capability has been accomplished, in part, by ingesting data from the ITWS Terminal Winds algorithm. Terminal Winds provides a 3-dimensional wind field across the entire TRACON domain. The wind information from Terminal Winds is incorporated with other windfield analyses that use the TDWR velocity basedata to generate the wind shear and post-frontal wind products. Initial results from real-time monitoring have revealed that the GFMosaic algorithm can significantly improve the gust front detection capability of the ITWS in a large TRACON.

This report will give an update on the development process of the GFMosaic algorithm, including the integration of the Terminal Winds data. Scoring results from performance testing along with future activities will also be discussed.

*This work was sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration under Air Force Contract No. F19628-00-C-0002. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Government. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the authors and are not necessarily endorsed by the US Government.

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