The NOAA NWS announced at the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society in February 2003 its intent to create an Internet-based pseudo-operational system for delivering Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) Level II data. In April 2004, the NWS deployed the Next-Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) level II central collection functionality and set up a framework for distributing these data. The NWS action was the direct result of a successful joint government, university, and private sector development and test effort called the Collaborative Radar Acquisition Field Test (CRAFT) project. Project CRAFT was a multi-institutional effort among the Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, the University of Washington, and the three NOAA organizations, National Severe Storms Laboratory, WSR-88D Radar Operations Center (ROC), and National Climatic Data Center. The principal goal of CRAFT was to demonstrate the real-time compression and Internet-based transmission of level II data from all WSR-88D with the vision of an affordable nationwide operational implementation. The initial test bed of six radars located in and around Oklahoma grew to include 64 WSR-88D nationwide before being adopted by the NWS for national implementation. A description of the technical aspects of the award-winning Project CRAFT is given, including data transmission, reliability, latency, compression, archival, data mining, and newly developed visualization and retrieval tools. In addition, challenges encountered in transferring this research project into operations are discussed, along with examples of uses of the data.
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Jul 25, 2007
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