Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Tailored timely weather information

Airports receive information on weather conditions from sources with different levels of accuracy, often leading to misunderstandings and incorrect decisions. A newly developed meteorological decision support system could alleviate this situation.
Tailored timely weather information
Adverse weather conditions can cause delays and traffic congestion, affecting the safety and efficiency of airport operations. However, aviation stakeholders usually react to a disruption of the air traffic flow as it happens or is about to happen.

To mitigate the impact upon air traffic flow, it is necessary to monitor and forecast the changing state of the atmosphere as precisely as possible. The EU-funded project MEDUSA (MEDUSA, a meteorological decision-support system for aviation) was initiated to develop tailored meteorological information to facilitate informed tactical decisions.

To achieve its aims, the MEDUSA project team combined various meteorological parameters to develop simple, self-explaining weather data products. These focus on summer and winter weather in airports and extreme phenomena such as thunderstorms, intense rain, heavy snowfall, icing situations and freezing conditions.

The algorithms for summer weather phenomena were designed based on innovative concepts for cloud tracking and enable the prediction of thunderstorms up to 30 minutes in advance. Winter algorithms have been based on hourly observations from multiple weather stations and weather prediction from numerical models.

All this information needs to be provided to aviation stakeholders in due time for integration into the decision-making process. For this purpose, the MEDUSA partners developed a powerful real-time system with a simple visual interface to help aviation authorities make informed decisions.

The MEDUSA platform, once finalised, was thoroughly tested in airports at Frankfurt in Germany and at Barcelona in Spain. The prototype is set to help airports worldwide, particularly small airport and low-cost companies that have limited access to sophisticated systems.

After the end of the project, the MEDUSA partners' focus was on the commercialisation of the new meteorological decision support system that may have applications beyond air transportation.

Related information

Keywords

Weather conditions, decision support system, airport operations, air traffic, aviation authorities
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