NextGen Weather Systems consist of Common Support Services - Weather (CSS-Wx) and the NextGen Weather Processor (NWP), designed for implementation in the National Airspace System (NAS). NWP focuses on aviation weather processing and translated product generation; CSS-Wx focuses on weather information management to support users. Together, CSS-Wx and NWP ingest data once and provide tailored subsets of large data products to various subscribers. Safety-critical products (such as microbursts and wind shear alerts) are provided directly to local users, as well as published for NAS-wide use. Consumers subscribe to gridded and non-gridded aviation weather products published in Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standard formats. Consumers can also view the products on the NWP Aviation Weather Display (AWD), designed to meet NAS user requirements for display of aviation weather products.
The figure above provides a high level view of NextGen Weather architecture, showing the direct connection between CSS-Wx and NWP as well as the AWD.
NextGen Weather Inputs
Sensor inputs are shown across the top, where the Air Surveillance Radar data is ingested directly by NWP, and all NAS weather sensor data is ingested by CSS-Wx. The NAS sensor input labelled “Surface Stations” covers collectively the Automated Surface Observing Systems (ASOS), the Automated Weather Observing Systems (AWOS), Automated Weather Sensor Systems (AWSS), and Lightning sensors. These products are received by CSS-Wx via the Weather Messaging Switching Center Replacement (WMSCR) and the AWOS Data Acquisition System (ADAS). Other direct inputs include Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) and Low Level Wind Shear Alert System (LLWAS), Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD), and both east and west Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) data via NOAAPort, a high bandwidth weather data broadcast system operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The figure also depicts acquisition of Canadian weather radar data and the service oriented data transfer from NOAA, including model data and other products, via the NAS Enterprise Security Gateway (NESG). Aeronautical Common Services (ACS) provides information about airports, navigational aids and other aeronautical data to NextGen Weather.
NextGen Weather Outputs
Upon receiving weather data from CSS-Wx, NWP centrally produces domain-wide weather products and locally produces safety-critical terminal weather products. CSS-Wx publishes the NWP products and the required NOAA weather data to System Wide Information Management (SWIM) for delivery to NAS consumers. Examples of SWIM weather consumers include decision support tools such as the Traffic Flow Management System (TFMS), Time Based Flow Management (TBFM), and Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM), as well as display systems such as the Integrated Display System Replacement (IDS-R). To ensure an immediate and smooth transition to NextGen Weather Systems, some NAS user systems may elect to receive their data via CSS-Wx Service Adaptors, which convert their required weather products to legacy formats. Systems in this category include En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM), Microprocessor En Route Automated Radar Tracking System (MicroEARTS), Advanced Technologies and Oceanic Procedures (ATOP), Dynamic Ocean Tracking System Plus (DOTS+), and Flight Data Processor 2000 (FDP2K). SWIM will also provide NWP products to NOAA and external aviation users, such as Flight Services, providers and airlines, via the NESG.
NextGen Weather Archive
CSS-Wx provides an archive of all input weather data sources and output weather products for NextGen Weather Systems, except for data provided to FAA by NOAA, since NOAA supports that archive. The NWP AWD maintains a display-oriented archive for post-event operational analyses.