2.5 CASA WX: How Users Are Benefiting from a Network of Networks Deployment in Dallas–Fort Worth

Monday, 8 January 2018: 11:45 AM
Room 5ABC (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Apoorva Bajaj, Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA; and B. Philips, V. Chandrasekar, E. J. Lyons, H. Chen, F. Junyent, M. Zink, K. A. Brewster, and F. H. Carr

The CASA Dallas Fort Worth Living Lab for Severe Weather Warning Systems (CASA WX) is an innovative partnership between academic institutions, National Weather Service (through the National Mesonet Program), local North Texas government agencies and business user community, radar (and other sensor) manufacturers and weather data resellers. The CASA hypothesis is that in certain infrastructure rich regions of the country, such as Dallas Fort Worth, where the population is dense and impacts of weather events are high, there is a sufficient need for high resolution, geographically specific, rapidly updating products from X-band radars and other sensors to warrant an investment in sensor infrastructure by non-NOAA entities. In order to validate this hypothesis, CASA has developed end-to-end warning system, that includes sensors, software architecture, products, data dissemination and visualization, and user decision making. In this way, impacts and value of the information can be evaluated in a live environment.

From the provider side, several national and international manufacturers of short wavelength radars have provided their latest radar offerings for integration to the network. Participating in this network allows them to get insight into customer needs, product specifications and technical requirements for operating radar networks, while also understanding the economics/costs of supporting such networks. The network also allows them to benchmark their products against competitors and create a marketing platform. In addition, Understory, a provider of in-situ sensors to measure hail and wind, is also providing live data into the network to demonstrate how a regional approach to a heterogeneous Network of Networks can help provide a more complete picture of the lowest parts of the atmosphere.

Customers from across economic sectors are partnering with CASA WX to help determine the value proposition. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport is participating in an evaluation study to see how high resolution data from the CASA radars can help with improved decision making when bad weather disrupts flight schedules and negatively impacts the normal flow of passengers, and extends customer service requirements outside the norm. Oncor Electric Company and City of Fort Worth Storm Water Management department are participating in a project to evaluate the use of localized severe weather alerts to field workers to improve their coordinated response to power outages and flooded roads. Over 1000 public safety officials and 300 residents are using the CASA mobile app for receiving context-aware alerts derived from sensor observations, user locations and their alerting preferences. Finally, the local National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office is receiving data in real-time and is using it operationally when issuing weather watches and warnings.

This presentation will discuss our findings related to user needs for weather information, challenges in creating and delivering products, and feedback from users on the value proposition of this regional network of networks implemantation.

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