326 Unparalleled Access to Aviation Weather Data using the MetOcean Application Profile of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Coverage Service (WCS)

Monday, 8 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Steven R. Olson, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and P. R. Hershberg, P. Trevelyan, and G. Percivall

As we move to an era of increased global cooperation and cross-domain utilization of information, harmonization between disparate gridded data sets, prevalent between nations, will be needed for aviation weather. Thus, true global interoperability will require international standards. In the near future, for example, it would be possible for the Single European Sky Air-Traffic-Management Research (SESAR) and the FAA Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) to leverage the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) MetOcean Application Profile as the best standard to improve interoperability between the OGC, WMO and ICAO global domains (including ICAO weather data models such as I-WXXM). The OGC MetOcean Application Profile enhances harmonization via complex data access to the new blended multi-dimensional data sets, demonstrating a possible best practice for data exchange among seamless global data sets.

The paper will outline the underlying principles of the MetOcean Application Profile, and identify a path for adoption in the suite of OGC Web Coverage Service (WCS) standards. It will also demonstrate the efficiencies gained in a WCS that can extract 2D grids versus a WCS with the MetOcean Profile that extracts 4D grids. Furthermore, it will illustrate a real-time example scenario of an international flight from Europe to Denver Colorado, USA, using data patterns of corridors and trajectories and an event of encountering moderate to severe turbulence. This scenario will highlight how future web services can provide decision support tools that could be used in SESAR and NextGen Web Services.

One of the inherent limitations of the Web Coverage Service (WCS) to date has been the inability to extract more complex multi-dimensional data shapes or patterns from web services. Recent advances in WCS Core and the introduction of a Coverage Implementation Schema (CIS) have made working with multi-dimensional (i.e. 4D/5D) weather data more plausible. These advances are key for the adoption of a newly proposed OGC standard called the MetOcean Application Profile. The MetOcean Application Profile is a revolutionary approach in working with higher dimensional weather data, and could also benefit those working with higher dimensional climate and oceanic data. A key concept to the MetOcean Profile is the introduction of a “Coverage Collection”. A coverage collection allows WCS coverages to be grouped in a hierarchical way and by a common theme, so it's more inherently aligned with 4D/5D weather data and therefore better associated with “real world” services. The goal of having a MetOcean Profile is to make use of several additional OGC standards and address the efficient access to complex multi-dimensional data sets. These include the efficient retrieval of specific meteorological data subsets such as vertical profiles, cross sections, time series, polygons, trajectories, and corridors.

The first part of the MetOcean Profile standard is currently under OGC Architecture Board (OAB) review. This part of the Profile covers enhancements to metadata offerings in the getCapabilities and describeCoverage functions, and introduces a new function called describeCoverageCollection for the hierarchical grouping of weather data. The second part of the MetOcean Profile, which is still subject to approval and adoption, will focus on two new operations (getCorridor and getPolygon) to extend WCS Core. In addition to providing efficient retrieval of meteorological data subsets described above, these new operations will also provide additional trimming and slicing capabilities for end users. These new operations, once added to the MetOcean Profile, will result in the most efficient means to date for extracting 4D/5D gridded data from WCS web services and increased aviation safety through access to the world’s best weather data.

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