1.3 McIDAS: Forty Years of Visualizing Weather Satellite Data

Tuesday, 8 January 2013: 4:00 PM
Room 19B (Austin Convention Center)
David A. Santek, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; and J. Phillips and T. H. Achtor

In development since the early 1970s, the McIDAS (Man computer Interactive Data Access System) will celebrate its 40th anniversary in October 2013. McIDAS is used to visualize satellite data and integrate it with other weather information and geophysical parameters. It is the premier software package for accessing and manipulating real-time weather satellite data, as evidenced by its use at NOAA, NWS, and other weather service, research, and commercial entities worldwide.

The software was originally developed on a Datacraft /5 computer and has gone through four major hardware configuration changes over the last four decades. These adaptations and continued updates for new satellite platforms have resulted in a longevity that is rare. McIDAS is one of the oldest, continually supported software packages still in use today.

We will report on significant milestones in the history of the McIDAS software and how it affected the use of satellite data in research, forecasting, and operational environments.

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