McIDAS-V and OpenADDE: The next generation of McIDAS

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Tuesday, 31 January 2006: 4:45 PM
McIDAS-V and OpenADDE: The next generation of McIDAS
A411 (Georgia World Congress Center)
David A. Santek, CIMSS/Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; and T. Whittaker, B. Hibbard, G. Dengel, D. Parker, and T. Rink

Presentation PDF (105.8 kB)

The Man computer Interactive Data Access System (McIDAS) software was developed in the early 1970s at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to track cloud features and visualize data from the then new-generation geostationary satellites. For the past 30 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 transition was during the 1990s when McIDAS was moved into the UNIX and X Window System environment and with the development and use of the Abstract Data Distribution Environment (ADDE) for data access.

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 that is being developed by the Unidata Program Center, demonstrates the flexibility that is needed in this evolving environment, using a modern, object-oriented design approach. The IDV is based on VisAD, a visualization library developed at the Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC) that incorporates lessons learned from McIDAS and supports a universal numerical data model, flexible 2-D and 3-D displays, a distributed component architecture, and flexible user interaction and collaboration.

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

1. Allow the extensive library of McIDAS-X heritage code to be usable in the new environment without a need to rewrite,

2. Build on the existing capabilities of the IDV, including the overlay of meteorological data from a wide variety of sources,

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

A key component of McIDAS is access to a variety of meteorological data. For the past decade, the ADDE servers have provided efficient access to large datasets worldwide. These will continue to be used in the forthcoming McIDAS-V era. To encourage the use and development of new servers, the ADDE servers and required McIDAS-X library modules are now available as an open source package known as OpenADDE. In addition, clients other than McIDAS (such as SGT or code written in Matlab and IDL) have access to these ADDE datasets via a VisAD Java interface.

A status of the McIDAS-V effort and OpenADDE use will be presented.