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Supporting the Nation’s commerce with information for safe, efficient, and environmentally sound transportation. September 4, 2008 Graphical Forecast for.

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Presentation on theme: "Supporting the Nation’s commerce with information for safe, efficient, and environmentally sound transportation. September 4, 2008 Graphical Forecast for."— Presentation transcript:

1 Supporting the Nation’s commerce with information for safe, efficient, and environmentally sound transportation. September 4, 2008 Graphical Forecast for Aviation (GFA) Readiness Review

2 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ Graphical AIRMET G-AIRMET  G-AIRMET contains information related to the occurrence or expected occurrence of en-route weather phenomenon, which may affect safety of aircraft.  Issued at 03:00, 09:00, 15:00, and 21:00 UTC  Updates (e.g., amendments) issued as necessary  G-AIRMET provided in Binary Universal Format Record (BUFR) format via NWS operational communication circuits (TOC).  Digital format intended for integration into customers’ and partners’ systems  Basic display interface on AviationWeather.gov.

3 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ AIRMET and G-AIRMET  The text AIRMET is a product of the G-AIRMET  AIRMET and G-AIRMET fully consistent  However, AIRMET contains less time and space precision  AIRMET valid for a period of up to 6 hours  6h time “smear”  Text AIRMET limited by number of text characters  Text AIRMET uses VORs to describe extent of hazard over a period of time.

4 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ G-AIRMET  Data intended to be integrated into display systems  Intended to be displayed as a graphic  Not a text message converted to a graphic  Not sent as a “picture”  Identification of weather hazard  Use Lat/Long instead of VORs  Uses many more points to describe with more precision  Quality of information  More precision in time and space  More information than text can carry  Tiny communication costs (versus grids)

5 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ Snapshot vs. Smear Example  Hazard moving and expanding from IN/OH southeastward into NC.  AIRMET graphic is forced to encompass this entire region for the full six-hour forecast period.  G-AIRMET at the bottom able to depicts the precise position, size, and shape of the area at three distinct times within the same forecast period.

6 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ Snapshot vs. Smear G-AIRMET Snapshots Area of Text AIRMET G-AIRMET Snapshots Area of Text AIRMET F00 + F03 + F06 = F00 + F03 + F06 = 6 h smear  G-AIRMET production = Snapshots in time  Snapshots turned into 6 hour smear  6 h smear turned into Text AIRMET  Very Similar to current forecaster practice F06 F00 F03 = F00-06

7 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ Graphics-to-Text Formatter  In order to produce graphics and text in parallel, a Graphics-to-Text Formatter is required  Translates graphical snapshots into text AIRMETs.  A formatter generates the text AIRMETs which generally do not require additional editing by the forecaster.  Required standardization of text AIRMET  Proposals Adopted at G-AIRMET/AIRMET Workshop at the Aviation Weather Center, Kansas City, November 16-17, 2004.

8 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/2008 8History  2003  GFA Working Group formed to plan the development and implementation of a graphical area forecast  Friends and Partners of Aviation Weather (FPAW) conference  FAA, NWS, and industry representatives  2004  FAA Technical Center completed an operational suitability assessment of the utility of the GFA using test data provided by the NWS.  GFA judged capable of providing Flight Service Station (FSS) specialists with sufficient information to conduct standard weather briefings.  GAMET was not suitable without accompanying graphic  Text still required for FAA Model 1 (Now Decommissioned)  The NWS and FAA agreed that the AIRMET or hazards portion of the GFA be implemented as the first phase of the GFA and that it be called G-AIRMET (Nov 16-17, 2004)

9 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ Steps to Implementing G-AIRMET on Oct 1, 2008 Step 1: Draft FROM LINE (July 2005) Step 2: Draft AIRMET (Dec 2005) Step 3: Standardized Text AIRMET (Nov 2006) Step 4: Experimental G-AIRMET (FY07-08) Step 5: Operational G-AIRMET (Q1 FY09)

10 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ History  2005/2006  AWC collaborated with the NCEP Systems Integration Branch (SIB) to develop, test and implement software upgrades to the AWC operational N-AWIPS system.  Upgrades allowed AWC meteorologists to  graphically generate AIRMET 6-hour smears  automatically produce text from graphical information.

11 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ History  2006  FAA submitted basic requirements for AIRMET information to the NWS.  First major milestone in the G-AIRMET implementation was achieved when the text AIRMET format was standardized. (July 25, 2006)  2007/2008  AWC begins experimental issuance of the G-AIRMET  July 11, 2007  Collected overwhelmingly positive feedback from users per NWSI  Re-work of NAWIPS codes to make software more efficient

12 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ History  2007/2008  AWC conducts 4 Proof-of-Concept tests (Nov-Feb)  Output sent to FAA for evaluation  2008  AWC/NWSEO reached agreement on implementation of the G-AIRMET (April 19)  Issued 120 day TIN for G-AIRMET (May 6)  Forecaster training began June 2 nd  Continued experimental issuance

13 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ NCEP Resource Allocation FTE NCO0.75 (across 3) 2.6* (across 6) 3.7* (across 7) 4.5* 6* 2.3* (across 4) AWC0.75 (across 6) 2 (across 9) 2.5 (across 12) 5 (across 13) 5 (across 35) 5 (across 42) OD * ~ 2 FTEs funded by ASB

14 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ Readiness Production Concept NWSEO Concurrence Software Customer & Partners TrainingQuality DocumentationDissemination NWS Implementation Processes (NWSI & ) FAA Readiness Ready Planned work prior to implementation Potential Problem Block

15 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ Production Proof-of-Concept Test Description  Four non-consecutive week-long wintertime day shifts (20 shifts total)  Tested four different production concepts  Regional, Element, Hybrid/Dynamic, Doubled Frequency  Same three GFA Team forecasters performed all the tests  Simulated day shifts using real-time data in parallel with operational production  Comparisons made between current and proposed G-AIRMET production processes

16 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ Production Proof-of-Concept Test Results  Forecasters have sufficient time to issue G-AIRMETs although the production process takes longer.  Step minutes to produce  Step minutes to produce  Updates take ~8 min longer  Max Available Time: 115 minutes  Impacts to other products (SIGMET, FA and Low Level) not significant  G-AIRMET can be produced operationally using a regional- or element-based strategy.  Regional strategy chosen to maintain consistency with FA  Insufficient time to double issuance frequency as originally planned.

17 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ Software  All critical software problems have been resolved by NCO SIB and AWC ASB  Occasional non-critical nuisance problems remain  Installation in operations to occur prior to Oct 1, 2008  CWD and Readiness Review dependent

18 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ Training  All domestic forecasters have received three days of operational implementation training.  First two groups scheduled for an extra day of training due to software problems during initial training sessions.

19 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ Documentation  Extensive documentation available  User documentation via AviationWeather.gov  Vendor documentation via AviationWeather.gov  Forecaster training and reference material available on AWC Intranet  Product Description Documents completed and posted

20 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ NWS Implementation Processes  Followed processes established by NWSI and for implementation of a new product  Experimental public comment period began July 2007  Product Description Document (PDD) provided  Operational TIN issued May 2008  All activities coordinated with TOC, NCDC, and DRG

21 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ NWSEO Concurrence  Conditionally agreed to operational implementation of the G-AIRMET  Training given to forecasters  Implemented prior to winter weather  Software is stable

22 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ Customer & Partner Outreach  GFA Users Group  Guided early GFA development  Was led by Paul Fiduccia but now defunct  AOPA Air Safety Foundation Briefed  Lockheed Martin FSS briefed and provided with technical documentation  Brochures and Posters at numerous Outreach events  Flash animation overview training for pilots prepared by retired FSS briefer  Customer feedback via OPM survey

23 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ Customer Survey Comments  “This is a great tool that is long over due. “  “Easy to use and clear... actually GREAT!!”  “This is a great innovation and could be very helpful. I would love to see this full time for us flyers in the south and western US. “  “Very easy intuitive interface, picture display of information makes much easier to understand. “  “It's helpful to be able to look at all hazard forecasts graphically. “  “Having a graphical product that changes during the forecast period is its best feature. “  “Depictions of affected regions are substantially easier to read and interpret. Color, contrast, font and line sizes used enhance readability. Drift vectors showing relative motion are an excellent addition. “  “If this was available I would use it every time I fly.”

24 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ Customer Survey: Quality

25 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ Dissemination  Web page stable but needs to be moved from testbed area when operational.  https://AviationWeather.gov/testbed/gfa https://AviationWeather.gov/testbed/gfa  Transmission headers allocated  Final coordination with TOC to occur days prior to ensure products route properly.  NCDC prepared to receive data via SRRS.

26 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ FAA Readiness  FAA readiness for G-AIRMET unknown.  FAA re-re-inventing approval processes.  No money allocated to evaluate G-AIRMET  No evaluation schedule

27 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ Readiness Production Concept NWSEO Concurrence Software Customer & Partners TrainingQuality DocumentationDissemination NWS Implementation Processes (NWSI & ) FAA Readiness Ready Planned work prior to implementation Potential Problem Block

28 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ Recommendation  Move forward following NWS procedures for implementation of a new operational product on October 1, GO

29 G-AIRMET Readiness Review 9/4/ Background Slides

30 Supporting the Nation’s commerce with information for safe, efficient, and environmentally sound transportation. ElementG-AIRMET Turbulence(non-convective) Moderate Turbulence Surface to 45,000 feet Sustained Surface Winds ≥ 30 knots ≥ 30 knots Low Level Wind Shear (non-convective) Wind shear (+/- 10 knots) below 2000 feet AGL Surface Visibility ≤ 3 miles (IFR) Cause of Surface Visibility restriction Precipitation (PCPN), Mist (BR), Fog (FG), Haze (HZ), Smoke (FU), Blowing Snow (BLSN) Low Ceilings Ceiling ≤ 1000 feet (IFR) G-AIRMET Elements

31 Supporting the Nation’s commerce with information for safe, efficient, and environmentally sound transportation. ElementG-AIRMET Icing(non-convective) Moderate Airframe Icing Surface to 45,000 feet Freezing Level Location of the freezing level at the Surface, 4,000, 8,000, 12,000, and 16,0000 feet Multiple Freezing Levels Area and vertical range Mountain Obscuration Area Cause of Mountain Obscuration Clouds (CLDS), Precipitation (PCPN), Mist (BR), Fog (FG), Haze (HZ), Smoke (FU) SIGMETs Included in depiction but not provided as part of the G- AIRMET/GFA BUFR message G-AIRMET Elements (Cont.)


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