METAR/SPECI Aviation INTERCEPT® Software

Web-based software for aviation weather reporting.

Graphical User Interface (GUI) showing Controller Data Display

See how it works - download Aviation INTERCEPT videos:

Page Sections
Introduction
No User Licenses Required!
Menus Bar
Information Message Ticker
Remote Maintenance Monitoring
System Security
Aviation Weather Algorithms
Data Displays
    Controller Data Display
    Weather Observer Display
    Runway Visual Range (RVR)
    Lightning/Thunderstorm Display
    Multiple Wind Dial Display
    Graphic Data Displays
Maintenance User Interface
    Maintenance "Dashboard" Display
    User Data Alerts
    Data Quality
    Data Quality Checks
    Alarms & Warnings
    Fast Restoration of Service
Log Files / Online Help

Introduction

Aviation INTERCEPT® (AI) presents all the weather and RVR data from all the sensors at your airport in an easy to read, simple to navigate format. It fulfills all your acquisition, processing, data display, reporting, archiving, system maintenance, and external data distribution needs.

It is fully compliant with ICAO, FAA, WMO and FMH-1 approved algorithms.

It produces METAR, SPECI, OMO (MET REPORT) reports automatically or after augmentation (editing) and it can create or output COR, SYNOP, AFTN, ATIS, AIRMET, SIGMET and TAF reports.

No User Licenses are Required!

Aviation INTERCEPT® is web-based. Any qualified and authenticated user can open their User Interface (Controller, Weather Observer, Maintenance or Administrator views) simply using a current web browser that is connected to the AI Server. There are no user licenses required.

AI allows multiple users to view the data on any computer via a web-based browser.

Aviation INTERCEPT® runs on Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows XP, Windows 7, or Linux.

Menus Bar Quick Easy Access to the Data You Want

The tabs at the left of the menu bar are User, Logs, Graph, and Help.

"User" allows you to logout, change your password, and select day or night view.

"Logs" allows you to view any information or data collected from any period of time.

The "Graph" function opens up a graph and fills in the data for the previous hour to give you a quick look at changing weather patterns. The running hourly display is updated once per minute. You can scroll back through the last 24 hours, and you can choose what 24 hour period of data to graph.

Information Message Ticker

The single line Information Message Ticker at the bottom of each screen displays the most recent information message based on the user's role. Clicking on the expand button will pop up a scrollable window with the last 200 messages.

Remote Maintenance Monitoring

A Maintenance User can access any of the required maintenance functions from a computer other than the Server through the AI Maintenance Interface. This access is most often done from another computer on the same LAN as the Server.

Remote maintenance monitoring can also be accessed by VPN.

System Security

User access to AI is through a web browser. All users must login with a valid username and password when they first access the URL for AI. AI uses Basic access authentication. The username and password are encrypted when sent to the server. Each subsequent call to the server also includes the username and password.

Login credentials are stored within the application, not the browser. This means that when a user logs out the login credentials are gone and no user can get access without reentering valid credentials.

Aviation Weather Algorithms

The biggest value of Aviation INTERCEPT® is the Aviation Weather Algorithms. These ICAO, FAA, WMO and FMH-1 compliant calculations are what take the data from the sensors and make it into useful information for pilots, controllers, maintenance personnel and airport managers. Coastal has spent 10 years and a great deal of effort perfecting these algorithms. They have even been tested for over two years against Certified Weather Observers to make the data reported from the AWOS most closely match what an actual human weather observer would report. Additionally, Coastal is the only company that has created numerous multiple-sensor algorithms using other sensors to verify information. For example, when the precipitation identification sensor says it's raining we check the rain gauge, temperature, dew point and visibilities to insure that it is in fact raining. Many of the multiple-sensor algorithms solve reporting issues that have plagued AWOS systems for the last 20 years.

Data Displays How You See the Data You Want to See

Depending on the status of a particular user, one or more Data Displays will be available by selecting a tab. Possible tabs include:

Controller a view of the data optimized for Air Traffic Controllers. Each tab displays the most relevant data for a single runway, labeled with the runway identifier. If there are multiple runways, there are multiple tabs.

Sensor Suite (Data Collection Unit DCU) shows relevant data for a given location on a runway. The tab will be labeled with the runway location.

Runway Visual Range (RVR) if there is more than one physical runway, there will be an RVR tab displaying RVR for all active runways.

Lightning a bull's-eye geographical depiction of lightning strikes in the last 15 minutes.

Winds a graphical analog depiction of winds from multiple locations on a runway or airfield.

Wind information is updated every 5 seconds, RVR and lightning information can be updated every 5 seconds, and all other data is updated at least every minute. All data is displayed numerically. In addition, winds and lightning are displayed with graphical analogs.

Controller Data Display

Designed for Air Traffic Controllers in the tower, this display can be configured one of two ways:

  1. To show data from the touchdown, midfield and rollout from one runway, or
  2. To show touchdown data on one tab and rollout on another tab from more than one runway.

The upper part of the screen shows one or two sensor suites (depending on your system) side-by-side. It displays wind, visibility and sky data for each station, and an analog wind dial with instant wind speed and direction plus 10-minute variation. The lower portion of the screen contains items such as RVR, temperature, dew point, and several pressure values.

The most recent METAR or SPECI and the OMO reports are displayed at the bottom of the view.

The button for selecting the active end of the runway is at the very bottom of the screen. This can also be detected automatically.

Weather Observer Display

Weather Observer Displays are named by the location of sensors on the runway (such as 34R or 16L).

The upper section of the display has seven rows with up to five data elements in each row, a wind dial and a timestamp. The second section contains rows that span the entire width of the display. The specific data displayed is dependent on the sensor set and is configurable. Beneath these fields and above the Status field is a control bar containing all the interactive features available to the Weather Observer related to the editing of aviation weather reports.

Runway Visual Range (RVR) Display

available when there can be more than one active runway and therefore more than one set of RVR values. If there is only one active runway at your airfield the RVR data is just displayed in the Runway display.

The RVR display shows RVR values for each runway location that has a visibility sensor, including touchdown, midpoint and roll-out, as well as trends and the Runway Light Intensity Monitor (RLIM) settings, and the time of the most recent calculation.

The runway light settings can also be input manually if your system does not include an RLIM.

Lightning/Thunderstorm Display

The Lightning display reports lightning to 50 nm (200 nm optional). It displays lightning reported within 30 nautical miles of your airfield in a "target style" display that is divided into 8 sections (octants) and then sub-divided into 3 ranges.

Lightning within a 5 mile radius is classified as "overhead". Lightning between 5 and 10 miles is "vicinity". Lightning beyond 10 miles to 30 mile is "lightning distant". The display shows totals strikes within the last 15 minutes and can be updated every minute or 5 seconds.

There is also a box labeled "Total Strikes". Total strikes are the strikes within 30 nm plus those within 50 nm.

Multiple Wind Dial Display

Single or multiple tabs are available for just the wind dial displays. Up to six different wind dials from any individual runway or multiple runways can be assigned to each tab.

Graphic Data Displays

Aviation INTERCEPT® displays hourly and daily graphs of the weather data, accessed through the Graphs menu. Clicking on the menu opens a dropdown list of the stations for which graphs are available. Selecting a station opens an additional list of the parameters for which graphs are available. Some of the standard graphs that are available are:

Temperature plotting the average air temperature and dew point.

Winds plotting the two minute average wind speed, direction and a qualifying aviation gust.

Visibility and RVR plotting the one minute average visibility and RVR. Visibility and RVR are both plotted in meters. The scale for visibility from 0 to 20000 is shown on the left-hand axis. The scale for RVR from 0 to 2000 is shown on the right-hand axis.

Pressure plotting the one minute average field pressure and altimeter setting.

Sky plotting the thirty minute integration of both the lowest cloud layer and lowest ceiling.

The running hourly display is updated once per minute. A scroll bar at the bottom of the hourly graph allows the user to scroll back through the last 24 hours. There is also a calendar date selection to allow the user to choose what date (24 hours) of data to graph.

Maintenance "Dashboard" (Display)

The maintenance dashboard was created after many hours of "human factors" engineering to most effectively and immediately allow the user to pinpoint any trouble areas. The "smart troubleshooting" algorithms then go to work to allow the user to quickly and simply identify the solution.

The maintenance dashboard gives the Maintenance User an immediate visual assessment of the state of the AWOS system and its components. Additionally, it allows the Maintenance User to investigate in much more detail by clicking on diagnostic information at the LRU (Lowest Replaceable Unit) level.

The color of the maintenance indicators represents the assessed state of each DCU, LRU, Interface, or the DPU (Server).

Alarms are generated when data is disqualified by a particular test such as: when data is out-of-range, data exceeds a rate of change limit, or when there is not enough valid data to perform a computation.

Alarms and Warnings are the result of component built-in tests, data quality checks, or continuous monitoring tests. Warning and alarm conditions are specific to each sensor or LRU, and each is referenced to some description or corrective action as per the Maintenance Manual.

User Data Alerts

Data Alerts can be set by each user to alert them of any measurement or change of interest. Alerts only appear on their screen and are logged and have no effect on alarms and warnings. Alerts can be simple, such as a range of a particular measurement, or they can be complex using multiple data elements and multiple operations.

Data Quality is of the Highest Importance

Built-in tests and system monitoring are performed in each of the major system components. The Sensors, the DCUs and the Server Built-in tests are used to verify measurement integrity, verify data message or communications integrity, measure system environmental parameters, and to functionally test the integrity of hardware and software components.

Data Quality Checks within the Weather Algorithms

Aviation INTERCEPT® software has a comprehensive set of data quality checks that are continuously active within the system. They are so comprehensive that even the Weather Algorithms are constantly monitored. The results of the data quality checks are used to validate data and create information for fault detection and maintenance. These include checks for missing sensor data, checking the results of the sensor BIT tests for data validation, checks for missing DCU messages (communications errors), checking for sufficient data for valid averaging, validation of data by checking ranges, trends, logical comparisons, and discontinuities. These data quality checks are in addition to those data checks performed by the sensors themselves and the DCU. If the process for a given reportable measurement does not have adequate valid sensor inputs, that measurement is reported missing.

Alarms & Warnings

Whenever a potential problem is detected, by BITs, system monitoring, or data quality checks, that problem is classified as an Alarm or Warning. Alarms are conditions which would disqualify data from being processed. Warnings are conditions that are trending toward an alarm condition. Warnings do not disqualify the data but may require action from the maintenance user. Alarms and warnings are logged in the maintenance log files and passed to the AWOS Maintenance Dashboard Display. Also when viewing the Maintenance Display the Information Message Ticker will display all alarms and warnings as they occur. Alarms and warnings are set based on the definition of LRUs and the maintenance concept (as reviewed by the customer) for a given AWOS system.

Alarms and warnings can also be configured to be sent to an external interface for off-site remote maintenance monitoring.

Fast Restoration of Service

Aviation INTERCEPT® is installed as a service that is started as soon as the computer boots. The service includes all of the data collecting, automated observing, data recording, and interface components which are factory-installed to run unattended, managed by the server's operating system, without human intervention. All of these components restart themselves when powered-up or reset.

Aviation INTERCEPT® becomes operational within one minute of completion of operating system boot on a start or restart.

Log Files

Aviation INTERCEPT® creates the following data log files:

  1. Sensor Log Files raw data.
  2. Report Log Files OMO, METAR and SPECI reports, COR, RVR, MET Report, etc.
  3. Maintenance Log Files Alarms and warnings generated by BITs, data quality checks, and continuous system monitoring.
  4. Communication Log Files all messages sent out and any that are "ingested" in.
  5. Alert Log Files the text messages when User defined alerts are met.
  6. Customer Created Logs custom data sets created by the customer.

Log files are generated continuously but are completed at daily and hourly intervals. There is more than adequate hard drive space to log all of the files for at least a year.

Online Help

Aviation INTERCEPT® includes detailed online help files, easily accessed from the Help Menu at the top of any screen.

AI also has a context sensitive help mode, enabled by clicking an icon. In this mode, when the cursor is over certain "hot" screen components, it changes to indicate that clicking on the item will open help directly related to that object.

Maintenance Users can select the option to Generate Diagnostics, which collects all configuration files and logs required for troubleshooting in a zip file.