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Product improvement for the Next Generation RADAR (NEXRAD), also called Weather Surveillance RADAR 1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) system, includes development of software that implements new and/or improved science applications for the RADAR Product Generation (RPG). Implementation of these applications is typically performed by organizations from any of the three supporting agencies: the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); Department of Defense (DoD)/Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA); and the National Weather Service (NWS). Implementing organizations (IO) currently include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)/Lincoln Lab (LL), the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) for the FAA, and the Office of Hydrologic Development (OHD)/Hydrologic Software Engineering Branch (HSEB) and the Office of Science and Technology (OS&T)/Systems Engineering Center (SEC) for the NWS. DoD/AFWA is currently sponsoring only Open Principal User Position (OPUP) improvements. The RADAR Operations Center (ROC), as the tri-agency representative, primarily implements improvements to the software infrastructure and new science applications that are supported by all three NEXRAD agencies.

Science products begin with either a new idea or a recognized customer need. Ideas which are shown to meet an operational need are evaluated and prioritized by a NEXRAD group (typically the NEXRAD Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)), target deployment schedules are established, and requirements are captured. The requirements are brought before the System Recommendation Evaluation Committee (SREC). The SREC prioritizes requirements and decides when the requirements should be incorporated into a build. If the requirements for a specific algorithm are selected for inclusion in a future build, the algorithm requirements specifications are delivered to an IO for development and testing of the operational algorithm source code. As a member of the SREC, the ROC is involved in build decisions relating to content and schedules.

Algorithms developed by or for the IOs must follow the guidance provided in ROC Work Practice Instruction (WPI) 0037, Transfer of New Science to the RADAR Operations Center. All IOs are required to conduct a Design Approach Review (DAR) and an Integration Readiness Review (IRR) prior to the transfer of new RPG science to the ROC. Guidelines for these reviews can be found in WPI 0037. (Links to DAR and IRR checklists are found at the bottom of this page.) The IRR is typically scheduled one month prior to the ROC starting Software Integration Test. Formal source code delivery to the ROC for integration into the software baseline usually follows the completion of the IRR.

Algorithms may be developed on a computer system under Red Hat Enterprise Linux, using the Common Operations and Development Environment (CODE). WSR-88D CODE contains the software and guidance required to create a “clone” of a WSR-88D RPG which can run existing and user-created algorithms by ingesting WSR-88D Archive Level 2 data. WSR-88D CODE also allows for studying past weather events by ingesting Level 2 data from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) web site and creating products for analysis. WSR-88D CODE is maintained by the Office of Science & Technology (OS&T). For more information on CODE, click the link below.

WSR-88D Common Operations and
Development Environment web site
WSR-88D Common Operations and Development Environment web site WPI0037 - Transfer of New Science to the RADAR Operations Center (PDF)

WSR-88D Algorithm (SREC) Template (PDF)

WSR-88D DAR Checklist (PDF)

WSR-88D IRR Checklist (PDF)
(Click logo to visit OS&T’s WSR-88D CODE web site)