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Bill St. Arnaud is a consultant and research engineer who works with clients around the world on a variety of subjects such as next generation Internet networks and developing practical solutions to reduce CO2 emissions such as free broadband and dynamic charging of eVehicles. He is an author of many papers and articles on these topics and is a frequent guest speaker. For more details on my research interests see

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Weather Forecasts Without Boundaries using Grids, P2P and Web services

[Excerpts from article -- BSA]

[ ] M1541298 ) Grid Enables Weather Forecasts Without Boundaries

The results obtained from SIMDAT, a European research and development
project, are increasingly in demand from European and international
meteorological services and are likely to become acknowledged
worldwide. SIMDAT Meteo is working to establish a Virtual Global
Information System Centre (VGISC) for the national meteorological
services of France, Germany and the United Kingdom based on grid
technology to be used within the World Meteorological Organization
Information System (WIS) to provide cost-effective and user-friendly
services. VGISC offers a unique meteorological database integrating a
variety of data and providing secure, reliable and convenient access
via the Internet. It is targeted toward operational services and
research in the domains of meteorology, hydrology and the environment.

The VGISC software developed by the SIMDAT Meteo project partners, led
by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, will offer
meteorological communities worldwide immediate, secure and convenient
access to various data and analysis services, as well as a
user-friendly platform for storage of meteorological data. VGISC will
thus enable the fast exchange of data for numerical weather forecasts,
disaster management and research -- independent of national frontiers
and beyond organizational boundaries.

The infrastructure of this new system will be based on a mesh network
of peers and meteorological databases. Messages are interchanged using
algorithms based on mobile telephony technologies and metadata
synchronization on a journalized file system. The grid technology is
based on Open Grid Services Architecture Data Access and Integration
(OGSA-DAI), which is founded on Web service and Web technology
concepts. In addition, standard protocols such as Open Archive
Initiative (OAI) are used to synchronize and integrate existing
archives and databases, as well as to extend interoperability.
Furthermore, VGISC will be a test bed for the ISO 19115 metadata
standard by handling complex data in real-time.

The SIMDAT project is Europe’s contribution to the
infrastructure technology of the emerging WIS as the World
Meteorological Organization (WMO) modernizes and enhances its
long-standing Global Telecommunications System (GTS), an international
network for exchanging mainly meteorological data and warnings in
real-time. In addition, the new system will provide access for all
environmental communities worldwide whereas GTS only allows access for
the present national weather services of the member states.

The opportunities for the new VGISC technology are excellent as VGISC
is not only of interest within Europe: The national meteorological
services of Australia, China, Japan, Korea and the Russian
Federation’s National Oceanographic Centre have already deployed
the SIMDAT software and are collaborating actively with the European
partners. The software deployment is followed by an increasing number
of meteorological centers and new meteorological datasets from Asia,
Australia, Europe and the United States are steadily being added to
the portal.