Air traffic controllers at the nation's 21 FAA air route traffic control centers (ARTCCs) now can view real-time, graphical weather data at their stations, using the weather and radar processor (WARP) system. WARP, developed for the FAA by Harris Corp., provides advanced NEXRAD weather data directly to the displays of the controllers, replacing the more cumbersome, alphanumeric data displays used previously. The announcement was made at the 83rd annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS).

"The WARP system was declared fully operational by the FAA on December 31, 2002, and we are very pleased that this major milestone toward bringing the weather data display directly to the controllers has been achieved," said Bob Henry, president, Harris Government Communications Systems Division (GCSD). "The WARP program is a key element of the FAA's modernization initiatives, and we are proud that Harris technology and integration expertise are at work helping to enhance the safety of our nation's air traffic system."

Weather data originates from the National Weather Service and other government radars, and is transmitted via landlines to the ARTCCs. There, it is collected by the Harris WARP server and then transmitted both to the on-site meteorologist's work station for forecasting and analysis, and to the air traffic controllers' main display monitor, where it is displayed in color blocks along with the individual aircraft position information. Harris provides the hardware and software to collect the weather data, and the ability to display it in an easy-to-view format.

WARP is a next-generation weather and radar processor that provides the FAA the software tools to consolidate weather data from several sources into a single, integrated display to support air traffic operations. The value-to-date of the WARP contract to Harris, since the initial award in July 1996, is $117 M. Under terms of the original contract, Harris was tasked with developing, procuring, installing and supporting WARP systems at the 21 ARTCCs, the Air Traffic Control System Command Center and the William J. Hughes Technical Center.