Monday, 10 February 2003
A Terabyte NEXRAD Radar Dataset for Hydrometeorology Research
We have been constructing a large (terabyte) radar dataset for use in hydrometeorology research. The dataset consists of reflectivity data from various NEXRAD WSR-88D radars, and span multiple years and several sites. The Level II data are converted to a very compact and loss-less format developed at The University of Iowa. Initially, the raw data were loaded with great effort from magnetic tapes. Recently, Internet distribution of NEXRAD Level II data from NCDC as well as real-time feeds through the CRAFT initiative has become a reality. This makes it possible to collect large amounts of data, but managing and exploring the data pose a serious challenge. We are developing a sophisticated system for accessing the dataset. A key component is a Relational Database that contains dataset metainformation, including anomalous propagation flags, and descriptive statistics such as areal coverage. Users access the dataset via a web-based interface that constructs and submits the appropriate SQL queries to extract and view parts of the dataset. Additionally, users can bypass the web interface, query the relational database directly, and perform sophisticated data extraction and processing. We plan to modify an existing X-windows data browser so that it can interface with the Relational Database. Users will then be able to rapidly browse the dataset.