83rd Annual

Wednesday, 12 February 2003: 1:30 PM
Multi-radar Integration to Improve En Route Aviation Operations in Severe Convective Weather
James E. Evans, MIT Lincoln Lab., Lexington, MA; and K. Carusone, M. M. Wolfson, B. Crowe, and D. J. Smalley
Poster PDF (1.6 MB)
In this paper, we describe the Corridor Integrated Weather System (CIWS), a major new FAA initiative to improve convective weather decision support for congested en route airspace and the terminals within that airspace. The objective of the CIWS initiative is to provide en route and terminal traffic flow managers, supervisors, controllers and pilots with accurate, fully automated high update information on storm locations and 0-2 hour forecasts of storms so that they can achieve more efficient tactical use of the airspace. A real time operational demonstration began in July 2001 in the “Great Lakes Corridor" and was extended to the “Northeast Corridor” in 2002. Terminal and en route weather sensors are utilized to create the CIWS products: the ASR9 and ARSR4 update once per minute to detect rapidly growing cells while the NEXRAD and TDWR provide 3D storm information. Data from lightning and satellite sensors is also integrated with the radar data.

The CIWS takes advantage of infrastructure enabling technologies such as wideband communications capability, dramatic increases in computational capability/cost ratio and Web distribution mechanisms. The architecture and capabilities of many of the current tactical convective weather information systems (e.g., NEXRAD and WARP, and to a lesser degree ITWS) place major constraints on the complexity of automatic product generation systems, display product spatial resolution, update rate and features, as well as the ability to provide information to a wide variety of users.

The CIWS acquires all of the desired radar base data at full resolution via a frame relay network into a central location. State-of-the-art “expert system” approaches can then be used to ensure data quality, generate innovative products such as motion-compensated VIL mosaics, high resolution echo tops estimation, and scale separation filtering for 0-2 hour convective weather forecasts.

Very high spatial resolution and fast updates of the CIWS precipitation products (2 km every 2.5 minutes) enable users to manage traffic in highly congested corridors that include many major airports. Displays were provided in 2002 at five key en route centers, the FAA’s Command Center, and the New York, Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Cleveland TRACONs. Airline systems operations centers have access to the CIWS products via servers on the Internet and CDMnet.

The ability to provide high spatial resolution precipitation and forecast products over large domains could enable CIWS to provide very high quality information on convective weather to both large and small airports over large areas using FAA intranets and the Internets with Web browsers as the user display engines. Additionally, the CIWS ability to utilize the base data from both NEXRAD and TDWR can provide the critical boundary layer winds information for both 0-2 hour and multi- hour convective weather forecasts over very large domains.

*This work is sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration under Air Force Contract No. F19628-00-C-0002. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions and recommendations are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the United States Government.

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