The AWRT program utilizes the Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor (MRMS) system to display various weather products in a prototype aviation environment and provides evaluations and valuable feedback to guide future Research and Development (R&D) directions. The FAA collaborates with the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) to develop aviation specific products to integrate into the MRMS system, based on requirements from the operational aviation community. Specific goals of the AWRT program include the evaluation and research of MRMS system capabilities, concepts, initiatives and improvements for use in aviation weather applications and/or for air traffic management decision making. The program supports roadmap investment decisions and initial concepts of weather radar sensing and processing data. Employing an MRMS R&D system continuously running real time at the FAA William J Hughes Technical Center that acts as a test bed, the program efforts include the completion of threat-specific (i.e. hail, lightning, turbulence, etc.) algorithms through testing and incorporation into the MRMS system to help improve the depiction of various areas of interest to aircraft operations. A current example is an ongoing project to improve capabilities of polarimetric (or dual-polarization) radar data that discriminate between hydrometeor and non-hydrometeor scatterers over single-polarization radar observations. Results of this project have implications for in-flight icing hazard warnings as well as aircraft de-icing operations.
This presentation will describe the AWRT program, its purpose and benefits to the FAA and air traffic operations, highlights of current projects and past successes, and the close collaboration with the National Weather Service.