7.2 Enhancing AWIPS-2 within the Hazardous Weather Testbed Enabling Manipulation and Display of Unique Datasets such as Phased Array Radar Data

Thursday, 10 January 2013: 3:45 PM
Ballroom A (Austin Convention Center)
Kevin Kelleher, NOAA/NSSL, Norman, OK; and D. Kingfield, J. Wegiel, B. Moore III, and T. M. Smith

NOAA's Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT) is a facility jointly managed by the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL), the National Weather Service's (NWS) Storm Prediction Center (SPC), and the NWS Oklahoma City/Norman Weather Forecast Office (WFO) within the National Weather Center (NWC) building on the University of Oklahoma South Research Campus. The HWT is designed to accelerate the transition of promising new meteorological insights and technologies into advances in forecasting and warning for hazardous mesoscale weather events throughout the United States. The HWT organizational structure is composed of two primary overlapping program areas, the Experimental Forecast Program (EFP) and the Experimental Warning Program (EWP). The EFP focuses on application of cutting edge numerical weather prediction models to improve severe weather forecasts. The EWP tests research concepts and technology specifically aimed at short-fused warnings of severe convective weather.

A key NWS strategic goal is to integrate AWIPS-2 into forecast and warning operations. In support of this goal, the NOAA and the University of Oklahoma (as partners in the National Weather Center) are partnering with Raytheon to integrate AWIPS-2 into the HWT to simulate an “operational-like” environment for the forecasters participating in the Testbed. To this end, NSSL has a formal contract with Raytheon engineers to assist in facilitating the ingest, manipulation, and display of cutting edge data sets such as the phased array radar or PAR. The National Weather Radar Testbed PAR is a research radar that supports adaptable scanning strategies and volumetrically scans storms in seconds rather than minutes. This technology allows individual array elements to scan via electronic steering of the beam, a large deviation from the standard Weather Service Radar 88-Doppler (WSR-88D) rotating antenna system. As a result, the current version of the AWIPS-2 software needs to be expanded to allow for ingest and display of PAR data, in addition to the traditional NEXRAD WSR-88D datasets. Having output from both radar systems displayable on the same AWIPS-2 platform will provide an optimal environment for forecasters to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of PAR data on storm interrogation and the warning decision making process. This cooperative effort will reduce the transition of a jointly developed NOAA-OU-Raytheon state-of-the science prototype AWIPS-2 PAR plug-in from research to operations and improve the nation's resiliency against severe weather, especially tornadoes.

This paper describes the status of enhancing AWIPS-2 within the HWT to allow for new datasets such as the PAR to be manipulated and displayed. This could be the foundation for the incorporation of other data sets such as lightning.

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