Journal cover Journal topic
Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Geosci. Model Dev., 5, 55-71, 2012
http://www.geosci-model-dev.net/5/55/2012/
doi:10.5194/gmd-5-55-2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Development and technical paper
17 Jan 2012
A web service based tool to plan atmospheric research flights
M. Rautenhaus, G. Bauer, and A. Dörnbrack Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
Abstract. We present a web service based tool for the planning of atmospheric research flights. The tool provides online access to horizontal maps and vertical cross-sections of numerical weather prediction data and in particular allows the interactive design of a flight route in direct relation to the predictions. It thereby fills a crucial gap in the set of currently available tools for using data from numerical atmospheric models for research flight planning. A distinct feature of the tool is its lightweight, web service based architecture, requiring only commodity hardware and a basic Internet connection for deployment. Access to visualisations of prediction data is achieved by using an extended version of the Open Geospatial Consortium Web Map Service (WMS) standard, a technology that has gained increased attention in meteorology in recent years. With the WMS approach, we avoid the transfer of large forecast model output datasets while enabling on-demand generated visualisations of the predictions at campaign sites with limited Internet bandwidth. Usage of the Web Map Service standard also enables access to third-party sources of georeferenced data. We have implemented the software using the open-source programming language Python. In the present article, we describe the architecture of the tool. As an example application, we discuss a case study research flight planned for the scenario of the 2010 Eyjafjalla volcano eruption. Usage and implementation details are provided as Supplement.

Citation: Rautenhaus, M., Bauer, G., and Dörnbrack, A.: A web service based tool to plan atmospheric research flights, Geosci. Model Dev., 5, 55-71, doi:10.5194/gmd-5-55-2012, 2012.
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