85th AMS Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 11 January 2005: 11:30 AM
The next generation of McIDAS
David A. Santek, CIMSS/Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; and T. M. Whittaker
The Man computer Interactive Data Access System (McIDAS) software was developed over 30 years ago at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to visualize data from the then new-generation geostationary satellites. Over the years, the software has been kept current by including access to data from new instruments and by adapting to changing computing hardware and display platforms. The last major effort was during the 1990s when McIDAS was moved into Unix, X Windows, and the use of ADDE (Abstract Data Distribution Environment) for data access. That effort has taken McIDAS into the 21st century.

New sensors being developed for future operational satellites will exceed the design of the current data structures and the visualization capabilities of the McIDAS software. Innovative techniques for visualizing and developing algorithms with these new data types are needed. The Integrated Data Viewer (IDV), a reference application based on the VisAD system that is being developed by the Unidata Program, demonstrates the flexibility that is needed in this evolving environment, using a modern, object-oriented approach.

A plan has been developed to explore the transition of the current McIDAS-X users into a VisAD-based system, to be known as McIDAS-V. The goal of the transition is two-fold:

1. Allow the extensive library of McIDAS-X heritage code that operates with the current satellites to be used for at least another decade,

2. Provide a new environment for developing algorithms and new visualizations that are required for data from future sensors.

A status of the plan will be presented, including identified trade-offs and future directions.

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