102 SIFT: Satellite Information Familiarization Tool

Wednesday, 17 August 2016
Grand Terrace (Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center)
David Hoese, CIMSS, Madison, WI; and R. K. Garcia, J. J. Gerth, K. Strabala, and S. Lindstrom

Advances in satellite instrument technology like that on AHI and ABI instruments can produce higher resolution imagery than previous available to the scientific community. This imagery is increasingly difficult to analyze with traditional visualization software due to its large size. In an effort to provide a new, fluid, and easy to use analysis experience for forecaster training courses the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) at the University of Wisconsin has created the Satellite Information Familiarization Tool, SIFT. SIFT is an application for visualizing satellite imagery including tools allowing the user to probe for data values at a specific point, compare a selected geographic region across multiple images via scatter plots, pan and zoom to specific areas of an image, and animate a series of time or instrument band images. SIFT is able to provide this functionality without the loss of performance that may be expected when analyzing such large datasets. When viewing and processing these high resolution data traditional tools can appear slow and unresponsive when processing is done primarily on the computer's CPU. SIFT relies heavily on the computer's graphics processing unit (GPU) to display and enhance the imagery being analyzed and provide a responsive user experience. After four months of rapid development and testing and two training courses, SIFT has proven itself to be an invaluable tool to train forecasters on new satellite sensors. Several features are planned to be added in the near term in order to make it even more useful in preparation for GOES-R.
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