ribbon display terminals, which present information that is read by controllers to pilots.
The terminal Doppler weather radar is a radar-based system that detects microbursts, gust fronts, wind shifts, and precipitation intensities in the airport vicinity. The weather radar, through the ribbon display terminals, presents advisories to tower and TRACON controllers. The advisories inform controllers of wind shear and microburst events affecting runways and nearby airspace. The terminal Doppler weather radar does not detect wind shear outside the arrival and departure ends of the runways, wind shear that is not a microburst or a gust front, gusty cross-wind conditions, or turbulence. However, planned improvements include more accurate display of storm motion and gust fronts, as well as display of storm growth and decay, microburst prediction, and turbulence.
The terminal Doppler weather radar also provides to tower and TRACON graphic situation displays that present, in color, six levels of weather, gust fronts, and predicted storm movement(s). These data are used by the controllers, traffic management specialists, and supervisory personnel to plan for runway changes and arrival/departure routing changes in order to reduce aircraft delays and to increase airport capacity.
Future enhancements include the weather system processor (WSP) and the integrated terminal weather system (ITWS; Klingle-Wilson, 1995). The weather system processor will provide the same displays as the TDWR; however, its weather processing will be based on the ASR-9 primary radar, which is a less costly sensor than the TDWR radar. The ITWS is a longer term improvement that will integrate data and products from various FAA and National Weather Service (NWS) sensors, aircraft, and NWS weather information systems. The ITWS will provide safety and planning displays that characterize the current terminal weather situation as well as forecast weather conditions 30 minutes into the future.
Controllers and traffic managers in the en route, including oceanic, environment also receive weather reports from pilots (through pilot reports), from the National Weather Service, and from commercial vendors. En route controllers and specialists are supported by central weather service unit (CWSU) displays and by oceanic display and planning system (ODAPS) displays that present National Weather Service data. The display system replacement (DSR) system that modernizes the workstations for en route controllers will include a color graphic weather display. The weather display will present radar data based on the NEXRAD radar and processed by the weather and radar processing system (WARP), which may provide additional weather products. The advanced oceanic automation system (AOAS) will integrate weather data from multiple sources for display to oceanic controllers and specialists.