AWIPS: Then and Now

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Tuesday, 31 January 2006: 2:15 PM
AWIPS: Then and Now
A411 (Georgia World Congress Center)
Jason P. Tuell, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and D. W. R. Seguin, D. L. Davis, and C. S. Bullock

Presentation PDF (23.2 kB)

NOAA's National Weather Service has been using the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) technology in its forecast offices since 1997. Much has changed in the world over the last eight years. Between the time when AWIPS was first fielded as a national prototype and its use today, there have been many significant changes in technology, NWS concept of operations and AWIPS itself. As AWIPS completes the migration to the Linux operating system and embarks on a re-architecture of its software, it is useful to reflect on the changes in technology and operations over the last nine years.

Over the last nine years, AWIPS has transitioned from a system built on HP hardware and the operating system HP UX 10.2, used in 1997 but still running on AWIPS hardware in fall 2005, to a system built around the Linux operating system and commodity hardware. During the same time, NOAA's NWS has transitioned from text based public forecasts to forecasts generated from a 5 km gridded forecast data base. Industry trends have been similarly dramatic, ranging from the ubiquitous presence of the Internet, dramatic increases computing and storage capacity to the emergence and acceptance of the open source software paradigm.

This paper traces the changes in the AWIPS system against the corresponding changes in technology and weather operations.