Science Highlights

Scientific highlights at RAP during 1997 include:

WSDDM is a real-time weather system designed to improve decision making at airports during winter storms. Snowfall and weather information are used by ground personnel conducting aircraft deicing operations, airline station control managers and dispatchers coordinating flights, airport managers coordinating runway plowing activities, and air traffic managers involved with gate hold programs. WSDDM provides decision makers with the information needed to anticipate both the onset and termination of snow at the aiport and surrounding regions, its intensity, and water content.

The WSDDM System was demonstrated to a variety of users at LaGuardia Airport in New York, and O'Hare Airport in Chicago. New York users included Delta Airlines, USAIR Airlines, and New York TRACON. In Chicago, United and American Airlines had displays. The system required the use of 25 workstations and displays at 8 user sites. Communications were designed and implemented by T. Hofmeister, F. Hage and R. Tescher and required the use of 56 kB dedicated phone lines and local networks all linked and working together. All the users were able to access workstations independently with no degradation of performance during high weather demand periods.

An important aspect of the system is the ability to rapidly loop the radar data in order to visually examine snowband motions and growth or decay trends. The response of the system to user commands was excellent, with new loops or reflectivity images appearing typically within a second or two of selection.

This network is one of the most complicated ever set up at RAP. The WSDDM System is managed by R. Rasmussen. See Operational Evaluation of the Weather Support to Deicing Decision Makers in Chicago and New York, Section XIV for more information.