Preparing NASA SPoRT Data Sets for the Next Generation of AWIPS
Carcione, Brian ; Burks, Jason ; Smith, Matthew ; McGrath, Kevin

The NASA Short-term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT) Center is a project to transition unique observations and research capabilities to the operational weather community to improve short-term forecasts on a regional scale. The optimal use of such new data and imagery occurs when the NWS forecasters can view those data and images on their Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS). Since 2003, SPoRT Center scientists have been engaged in an aggressive program focused on ingesting and displaying new data in AWIPS.

Since AWIPS was not designed to handle unique data such as gridded total lightning information or convective initiation centroids, meteorologists from SPoRT and the co-located Huntsville, Alabama, Weather Forecast Office (WFO) have learned how to work around the existing system to transition some of these research data sets to operations.

The next generation AWIPS system, called AWIPS II, will mark a significant change in the data handling paradigm. The Java-based AWIPS II allows software plug-ins which can ingest and display almost any data format. This offers major improvements in flexibility, which should result in enhanced functionality. Instead of representing total lightning data as numerical model output, SPoRT and NWS meteorologists will be able to develop a Java plug-in to directly ingest and display the data. This flexibility also offers the opportunity to create an entirely new and more useful visualizations. Regardless, the multi-agency development process has presented a variety of systematic, organizational, and software-related challenges to overcome.

While the future offers great possibilities, the initial focus will be ensuring a nearly-uninterrupted flow of NASA data to collaborating NWS field offices during the transition to AWIPS II. This presentation will include an update on SPoRT s transitional efforts with those partner WFOs that are AWIPS II Field Operational Test and Evaluation sites, and will detail future research and development efforts.