902 Uniting National Weather Service Aviation Offices: A Common Aviation Production Platform Vision

Tuesday, 24 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Joshua W. Scheck, NOAA, Bismarck, ND; and A. Cross, S. A. Lack, J. Bravender, D. Moore, and C. Sims

NOAA Aviation Weather Center (AWC) , National Weather Service (NWS) Honolulu, and Alaska Aviation Weather Unit (AAWU) are the three U.S. aviation weather service outlets commonly referred to as the Meteorological Watch Offices (MWOs). Currently, each of the aviation MWOs uses a different computing platform and software framework to create and disseminate aviation warnings and advisories. AWC uses the National Centers for Environmental Prediction version of the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (NAWIPS); NWS Honolulu converted the drawing application within NAWIPS (NMAP2) into a local application, and they run it within an Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) environment; and AAWU uses the Interactive Calibration in Four Dimensions (IC4D) software package to interact with AWIPS processing. This creates significant inefficiencies, especially in the following areas: 1) software support, maintenance, and upgrades; 2) service backup; and 3) dissemination system integration. These differences, in addition to differences between the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements, have also led to subtle inconsistencies in resultant products.

Recognizing the need to converge on one common aviation production platform, the three MWOs worked closely with Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research’s Global Systems Division, NWS Office of Science and Technology Integration; and the NWS Analyze, Forecast, and Support Office to target software development that would fit into the AWIPS system and support consistent product formats and forecast methodologies. Hazard Services was chosen as the framework to meet MWO needs since it meets the production requirements for the MWOs in the creation of consistent guidance while allowing the flexibility to disseminate final products in formats as regionally required.  Timelines for development and testing, challenges, and innovative solutions will be presented, as well as service standardization needs to be negotiated with FAA.

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