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inforMET - Observer and Forecaster message generation software.

Behind the scenes at airports throughout the world weather observation professionals are providing highly accurate weather information to pilots, controllers, planners, ATC staff and met offices. These professionals rely on tools that will allow them to produce this information accurately, reliably and efficiently. The inforMET software application is such a tool. The primary function of the inforMET software is to maximize the productivity of weather observers in an airport context by facilitating:

  • Display of data from field sensors such as wind, temperature, humidity, rainfall, RVR and Cloud Height.
  • Input of human observations such as present weather, visibility, RVR, cloud amount etc.
  • Consolidation of the above data into a complete database for archiving and access by ATC personnel.
  • Generation of METAR, SPECI, TAF, TTF, ARFOR, SYNOP and CUSTOM messages.
  • Interface to the AFTN / ATN for distribution of messages.

The software uses an intuitive windows based graphical user interface which makes it highly usable for both meteorologists and junior observers alike. InforMET can run alongside other mission critical applications at the same workstation. Extensive use is made of WMO standard icons and codes. The administrator controls the level of access users have to features. This is determined by the logon access level. For example a user may be given “read only” rights.

Automatic Data Population

Weather data variables from user selectable sources such as the AWOS or AFTN are automatically populated in the message compilation window. Weather data variables are automatically inserted into the relevant fields and are presented for observer acceptance. All automatically populated variables can be edited or deleted by the observer at their discretion.

Awos Creenshot

Manual Observation Entry

Human observations such as present weather, visibility, cloud amount etc can be added to the message generation form. These observations can be updated as often as required. The process is streamlined through the ability to select previous entries from a pull down box for each variable.

When required, the observer may enter observations directly into the observations window. Variables required for cloud, visibility and RVR and are accessed by pressing the Edit button for that particular weather variable. An inforMET dialog box will appear (see right) that will give the full range of available variables for the observers selection. A simple mouse click will select the desired parameter and will be passed back to the main message drafting window. The inforMET dialog boxes check the format of selected codes to ensure only legal combinations are selected. Once the observer is satisfied that all weather variables have been set correctly they can move on to message generation.

Message Generation

Flexible and customizable message templates are used as a starting point for message generation. Configuration file settings allow the observer to have control of automatic and observer input. At configurable times (normally 10 minutes prior to scheduled message times) the user is alerted of the need to create a message both visibly and audibly. Observer defined triggers are activated when specific changes to weather conditions occur. This will automatically trigger a SPECI alarm on the observer workstation. The draft message can then be generated from the database according to the message template file.

Message Review and Publication

The observer may review and edit the complete message and accept it for publication. The message is automatically checked for validity at this stage. The messages are written to the database which can then be dispatched to a printer or sent via the MTECH AFTN gateway server.

Global Forecast Data Display

Global forecast data can be downloaded from an external source (such as the UK MET office) and displayed in the inforMET application. The data is downloaded via the FTP protocol to a pre-determined schedule. The locally stored data file is selected and then represented in a graphed form to allow the observer to view trends in weather change.

Standards Compliance

The inforMET software application satisfies the requirements of ICAO annex 3 and generates codes per WMO 306. Customized message formats that satisfy local requirements can easily be configured in the software through the user defined templates feature.

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rvr sensor Screenshot

inforMET main message generation screen.

Technical Data Sheet
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