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.