ATCA2020: Solace Technology helps the FAA streamline data flow

The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is using Solace’s market-leading event streaming and management platform to efficiently collect and distribute the real-time information required to power their NextGen Weather Systems, which are comprised of Common Support Services – Weather (CSS-Wx) and NextGen Weather Processor (NWP). The NextGen Weather System’s processing platform supports the identification of traffic flow constraints and en-route safety hazards, and provides translated weather information needed to predict route blockage and airspace capacity constraints up to eight hours in advance.

As stated on the FAA website, “NWP combines information from weather radars, environmental satellites, lightning, meteorological observations (from surface stations and aircraft), and NOAA numerical forecast model output to generate improved products for all FAA users and National Airspace System (NAS) stakeholders.”

The application of Solace technology to NextGen Weather Systems is an example of FAA’s NAS Enterprise Message Service (NEMS), an implementation of message-oriented middleware commonly called System Wide Information Management (SWIM) in the aviation space. NEMS is a NAS-wide system that provides the digital data sharing backbone for their many and varied NextGen initiatives and is based on Solace technology.

According to the FAA website, “SWIM enables increased common situational awareness and improved NAS agility to deliver the right information to the right people at the right time. SWIM is the infrastructure that offers a single point of access for aviation data, with producers of data publishing it once and users accessing the information they need through a single connection.”

For NextGen Weather Systems specifically, PubSub+ will handle the process of dealing with diverse data formats and ensuring the real-time delivery of weather data via the NWP Aviation Weather Display (AWD), and to systems like Time-Based Flow Management (TBFM) and Traffic Flow Management System. These systems, which also interact with Common Support Services-Weather (CSS-Wx), process massive amounts of weather data and produce decision support information to the Air Traffic decision-makers directly responsible for ensuring both safety and the optimal use of air space at all times, especially during inclement weather.

Advantages of NextGen Weather Systems

  • State-of-the-art translation products allow air traffic managers to collaboratively achieve more efficient strategic and tactical use of the airspace and significantly reduce weather-related air traffic delay.
  • Provides a consistent weather picture tailored to specific aviation requirements
  • Translates weather picture into reliable airspace constraints for air traffic decision-making
  • Enables safe, timely, and efficient operation of the National Airspace System (NAS) in all kinds of weather
  • Consolidates multiple FAA weather programs with overlapping capabilities

“We’re excited to be working with the FAA to make the skies safer for travelers while optimizing available airspace and helping airlines operate more efficiently,” said Denis King, CEO, Solace. “It’s particularly gratifying to see NextGen Weather Program tap into the solid SWIM foundation of NAS Enterprise Messaging Service that FAA has built with our PubSub+ event streaming and management platform, and we look forward to working closely with them as they leverage that solid base for other NextGen applications.”