Terminal Doppler Weather Radars (TDWRs) - Supplemental Product Generators (SPGs) Information


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) owns, operates and maintains Terminal Doppler Weather Radars (TDWRs) at 45 major airports around the nation to provide wind shear and other critical weather data to air traffic controllers supporting safe flight operations. The FAA also allows the National Weather Service (NWS) access to TDWR data for NWS forecast operations. NWS developed TDWR Supplemental Product Generators (SPGs) to bring TDWR data into selected NWS forecast offices. This data includes NWS-oriented radar products to be used during forecast and emergency warning operations.

Each SPG hosts software for communication to the TDWR radar, NWS product generation, local storage and distribution control of the resultant NWS-oriented TDWR radar data. Each SPG monitors the operational status of the SPG system and provides a human-computer interface (HCI) to allow local forecasters and maintenance personnel control, monitoring, and troubleshooting capability.

The ROC is responsible for the life cycle management and support of TDWR SPG hardware and software. This includes:

  1. SPG operations and technical/maintenance manuals
  2. Engineering the replacement of obsolete hardware components
  3. Investigating and implementing requests for a change to the SPG
  4. Software maintenance, change development, and security

Local forecast offices are responsible for individual SPG equipment physical security, day to day SPG operation and maintenance and change request submission via an approved ROC change process.

Current Work

  1. Development of SPG Build 13.1, to be released in 2024, which includes:
    1. Security updates
  2. Deployment of SPG Build 13.0, which will include:
    1. Migration to RHEL 8
    2. Porting of Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) from X/Motif to the GTK+ language to increase supportability and maintainability
    3. The Environment Data Editor will update the default Storm Speed/Direction when Model Update enabled
    4. The media timeout value in the Software Update GUI will be increased to prevent timeouts from occurring
  3. Analysis of how best to migrate and update TDWR SPG communications as part of the FAA transition to the new System Wide Information Management (SWIM) program.
  4. Planning for future modifications to fielded equipment, such as an upcoming refresh of the computers used to process TDWR SPG data.

TDWR SPG Project Overview

  1. High Level Overview from 2020 (PDF)
  2. Detailed Training Slides from 2020 (PPT)
  3. AMS IIPS 2009 Paper (PDF)
  4. AMS IIPS 2008 Paper (PDF) and Presentation (PPT)
  5. Radar Coverage Maps, Including TDWR (PDF)
  6. SPG Documentation on the ROC Website
  7. TDWR SPG Operational Radar Status
    1. Using Level II data via NL2
    2. Using Level III data via NCEP

Data Distribution

  1. Product Archives and System Information available via the National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI)
  2. Public Announcements affecting TDWR SPG data from 2018 to present are available via weather.gov, including Service Change Notices and Public Information Statements. Older statements are available via an archive
  3. TDWR SPG Level II data
    1. Can be verified by filtering for the relevant ICAO on the Level II LDM page
    2. Archived and real time data available on Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud
  4. TDWR SPG Level III data via Radar Product Central Collection Dissemination Service (RPCCDS)
    1. RPCCDS Home Page
    2. January 2009 NWS Family of Services Meeting Briefing (TDWR SPG ONLY) (PDF)
    3. June 2008 NWS Family of Services Meeting Briefing (PDF)

TDWR Elevation Angles

  1. Build 1 vs Build 2
  2. Elevation Angles of Collected Products for Build 2