While it might be a name unfamiliar to many pilots, Baron Services is well known in meteorology circles. The company was originally formed out of a research project with NASA in the late 1980s that dealt with reporting of highly localized lightning data. Baron later expanded the display technology, incorporating radar data to create its first storm-tracking system.
National Weather Service
An FAA plan to consolidate all of the 84 National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters working in the nation’s 21 ATC en route centers into two central forecasting stations has drawn spirited opposition from two unions, the National Weather Service Employees Organization (NWSEO) and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca).
An FAA plan to consolidate all of the 84 National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters now co-located in the nation’s 21 ATC en route centers into two central forecasting locations has drawn spirited opposition from the National Weather Service Employees Organization (NWSEO), which is claiming the move is unsafe.
Bendix/King’s new AV8OR handheld GPS receiver can display XM Weather’s Aviator LT and Aviator products, making it a handy cockpit tool. During a recent trip, I used the Aviator product provided by WxWorx of Huntsville, Ala. Although WxWorx also offers XM Weather’s Aviator Pro, the AV8OR can’t display the additional features available in Pro.
Without the ability to understand and accurately forecast weather, NextGen technology won’t amount to much. For that reason, industry participants including Baron Services, NCAR and the FAA are not only working to integrate weather into the NextGen technology, but they are also working to improve forecasting techniques.
One of the first steps in developing the technology to automate the National Airspace System (NAS) is to coordinate and manage the data that is necessary for the technology to work properly. The system-wide information management (Swim) platform will allow all of the NextGen systems to “speak” to one another, as well as to other systems within other government agencies and industry partners, according to the FAA.
The focus of the NextGen Air Transportation System has largely been on the development of satellite-based navigation systems, trajectory-based operations and the various technologies that will form the underlying structure of the nation’s future ATC system. But NextGen’s success is not dependent upon new procedures and inventions.
The National Convective Weather Forecast (NCWF), which combines National Weather Service (NWS) radar mosaics and cloud-to-ground lightning data into a
six-color hazardous weather depiction, is now available on the Internet and the NWS information networks.
Although the official raison d’etre for the Friends/Partners in Aviation Weather is to coordinate the needs of users and the ability of the National Weather Service (NWS) and the FAA to serve those needs, it could be likened to a nagging spouse.
OK, so we all know that no one ever does anything more than talk about the weather. But the folks at the National Weather Service’s aviation branch are doing their best to make sure that when they do talk about the aviation climate, at least the dialogue is as accurate as possible.