12.1 The Remote Oceanic Meteorology Information Operational (ROMIO) Demonstration

Thursday, 16 January 2020: 1:30 PM
206A (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Cathy Kessinger, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and E. Frazier, A. Izadi, A. Trani, T. A. Lindholm, J. Olivo, W. Watts, R. Stone, B. Norris, S. Abelman, E. Senen, and K. Bharathan

Handout (1.9 MB)

To evaluate the feasibility and benefits of uplinking two convective weather products into the flight deck of commercial aircraft on transoceanic routes and to develop and demonstrate operational strategies for using these products, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Next Generation (NextGen) Weather Technology in the Cockpit (WTIC) program is conducting the Remote Oceanic Meteorology Information Operational (ROMIO) demonstration. The ROMIO demonstration began in July 2018 and will end in December 2019. Participants include the FAA, the weather research community, three airlines (Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and American Airlines), and two airline inflight entertainment communications (IFEC) providers (Panasonic and Gogo). Each airline has trained a select number of line check pilots to participate.

The convective weather products, the Cloud Top Height (CTH) and the Convection Diagnosis Oceanic (CDO), are computed from satellite infrared data, lightning data and global numerical model results over a three-satellite domain covered by the two Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) satellites (GOES-East and GOES-West) and the Japanese Himawari-8 satellite to be added in mid-2019. The two products update and uplink at 10 min intervals, using the latest available data, thus providing a rapidly updated view of convective activity along the flight routes. Representative polygons showing the CTH and CDO products are displayed in the flight deck on an electronic flight bag (iPad) and at the Miami, Houston, and Oakland Oceanic Air Route Traffic Control Centers and at each airlines operations center on a web browser. The products are for supplemental use only.

To assess the benefits of providing near real-time, rapidly updated graphical information on convective structures to the flight deck, a survey was designed to solicit feedback from pilots. Preliminary results indicate most pilots are pleased with the convective products and have found the information accurate and timely. Pilots reference the products for cabin management and for anticipating future convective hazard avoidance. Referencing CDO and CTH for the “long view” of the convective weather situation ahead increases the pilot’s confidence to make tactical avoidance decisions using the onboard weather radar information.

We will report on the findings of the ROMIO demonstration and benefits analysis, discuss user feedback and lessons learned.

Disclaimer: This research is in response to requirements and funding by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official policy or position of the FAA.

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