Figure 1. Character Graphic Depiction of Convective Weather
Along Route of Flight
RAL formally joined the FAA's WTIC program in 2010. We have been involved with weather information to the flight deck for over 15 years dating back to the initial Flight Information Services–Broadcast (FIS–B) program and NASA's Aviation Weather Information (AWIN) programs in the 1990s. Dissemination to the airborne pilot provides a feedback loop from the ultimate end–user to weather R&D on the timeliness and usability of advanced weather information products. RAL continues to act as an expert consultant to organizations like the RTCA and SAE as international data link and display standards are developed for NextGen and the European ATC modernization program, SESAR.
Currently, RAL participates in the RTCA Special Committee (SC) 206/EUROCAE Working Group 76 Plenary (Aeronautical Information Data Link); RTCA SC 214 (ATC Data Communications); RTCA 186 (Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast); and the SAE G–10 Weather Information Display Working Group. All are involved with data link and display of weather information to/on the flight deck for all classes of aircraft. RAL also plans and implements uplink and display capabilities as part of certain weather hazard R&D programs, where pilot feedback on weather information helps guide our R&D. An example display concept developed by RAL is shown in Figure 1–this concept requires no aircraft modification, but provides valuable information to both the pilots and RAL scientists as products are used in the operational setting. Figure 2 illustrates an integrated flight display with weather shown along with primary flight information. RAL also participates with airlines as they consider Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) equipage, helping to demonstrate the business case advantage for including updated weather information.
Figure 2. National Integrated Flight Display
Nearly all of our WTIC activities include EUROCONTROL, EUROCAE, and Asian counterparts so that the cockpit weather solution will be seamless as aircraft move globally.