Poster Session P12R.5 Issues in designing a new radar data exchange format

Friday, 28 October 2005
Alvarado F and Atria (Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town)
Dennis F. Flanigan Jr., NCAR, Boulder, CO; and J. VanAndel, J. Caron, and W. C. Lee

Handout (50.8 kB)

For the last decade, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has distributed meteorological radar data in data files defined by the Dorade Format. The use of a single well defined exchange standard was vital for development of radar data processing and visualization software. Ultimately, advances in the science of radar meteorology depended on this standardization.

Like most technologies though, over time the Dorade Format has become outdated. Currently, there exist software engineering techniques that improve data storage and retrieval that offer benefits for increased speed, increased data integrity and documentation. Additionally, radar systems have evolved to a point where the Dorade Format can no longer easily, or accurately, represent the data they produce. A new data exchange format is needed. This paper will deal with the issues concerning the development of a new data exchange standard.

A radar data format should be flexible enough to meet the needs of ground and airborne radars, as well as radars with new capabilities such as multiple frequency and dual polarization. This format should also represent radially sensed data in general, such as lidar data. The radar data format should be supported by display, analysis, and editing software.

This paper will review and clarify the requirements of the new data exchange format. It is possible that the new exchange format will be defined using the netcdf data access interface. Using netcdf would allow tools to be built using both open source and commercial software. We will present the results of prototyping the new format using netcdf.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner