Weather bureau seeks visualisation software

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Weather bureau seeks visualisation software

Software to support seven-day forecasts.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a request for tender seeking a “next generation” visualisation system to tie together its models, location, satellite, and radar data.

The so-called Integrated Data Visualisation (IDV) system was to be part of the Bureau’s $30.5 million Next Generation Forecast and Warning System (NexGenFWS), planned for completion in 2014.

It would replace a legacy suite of visualisation tools used internally by weather, aviation and flood forecasters to provide seven-day forecasts to the public.

Tender documents called for a software solution that would support image overlays and allow forecasters to further develop meteorological display techniques.

The Bureau specifically requested a customisable interface that would allow operators change window locations, fonts and colours, according to individual preferences.

“Forecast analysis of weather data is dependent on the effective presentation of textual data, either in tabular format or overlaid on graphics,” it wrote.

Operating in an IPv6-capable Red Hat Enterprise Linux environment, the IDV would initially display various projections and diagrams alongside graphical elements such as arrows, numeric text and symbols.

It was also expected to operate alongside a NexGenFWS Graphical Forecast Editor that was currently being rolled out with a Python plug-in architecture, and support future developments through a defined Application Programming Interface.

Development of the NexGenFWS system was part of the Bureau’s 2008-12 Operational Plan (pdf) and built on US National Weather Service technology.

The IDV system was expected to be available for 24x7 operational use 99.5 percent of the time, allowing for up to three hours of unscheduled outages per month with no single incident lasting more than two hours.

Tender applications were invited until 27 April.

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