ITWS fuses together the FAA and National Weather Service (NWS) weather sensors in the airport terminal area to provide automated, value-added weather forecasts.
Integrated Terminal Weather System to Receive Popular Science Award
Popular Science Magazine has selected the Integrated Terminal Weather System (ITWS) to receive the 2001 "Best of What's New" award in the Aviation and Space Category. Raytheon's Air Traffic Management Systems business unit is the prime contractor for the design, development, production and implementation of the ITWS for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The editors of Popular Science, who annually review thousands of new products and technology developments, selected ITWS to receive one of their "Best of What's New" awards based on the innovative technology employed by ITWS and is potential benefit in improving aviation safety and efficiency.
ITWS provides automated weather information for use by air traffic controllers and supervisors in airport terminal airspace (60 miles around the airport.) It provides products that require no meteorological interpretation to air traffic controllers, air traffic management systems, pilots, and airlines. ITWS provides a comprehensive current weather situation and highly accurate forecasts of expected weather conditions for 30 minutes in the future.
The ITWS achieves this through integration of data and information from FAA and National Weather Service (NWS) sensors such as the Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR), the Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD), airport surveillance radar, Low Level Wind Shear Alert System (LLWAS), automated weather and surface observing systems, lightning detection systems, NWS weather models and aircraft via the meteorological data collection and reporting system (MDCRS). Automated weather products produced by the ITWS for ATC include wind shear and microburst detection and predictions, storm cell intensity and direction, lightning information and detailed data of the winds in the terminal area.
Current FAA plans call for the installation of 34 ITWS systems that will provide coverage to 45 major airports that experience severe weather conditions.
The implementation of ITWS will provide the aviation community with a new tool for timely, accurate short term forecasts of weather information. The ITWS will not only allow ATC to make more informed decisions but will also be available to the airline and airport community allowing for ITWS information to be used in their planning activities.