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A Networked Desktop Synoptic Laboratory

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Over the past several years, the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois has developed a computerized weather laboratory that permits interactive access to real-time data from observing sites around the United States and to output from numerical weather prediction models at the operational centers. Such a setup, with timely access to observations and numerical model forecasts from any networked terminal, personal computer, or workstation, is a valuable tool for education and research in meteorology. The University of Illinois system acts as a real-time, on-line, in-class instructional meteorology laboratory for students. The data-display software is based on the X-windows protocol, which is network transparent and system independent.

In addition to software packages distributed by the University Data Project (UNIDATA), software tools developed by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and the University of Illinois are used to display, animate, and manipulate conventional maps, satellite images, and radar summaries. The underlying idea is to bring every product from a traditional synoptic laboratory to any desktop computer residing on the network.

An overview of the University of Illinois prototype for a paperless, desktop synoptic lab, together with the details of the hardware and software involved, is presented here, along with some examples of its use in teaching and research.

*Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois, 105 S. Gregory Avenue, Urbana, IL. Also affiliated with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois.

+Computing Services Office, 1453 Digital Computer Lab, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL

Over the past several years, the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois has developed a computerized weather laboratory that permits interactive access to real-time data from observing sites around the United States and to output from numerical weather prediction models at the operational centers. Such a setup, with timely access to observations and numerical model forecasts from any networked terminal, personal computer, or workstation, is a valuable tool for education and research in meteorology. The University of Illinois system acts as a real-time, on-line, in-class instructional meteorology laboratory for students. The data-display software is based on the X-windows protocol, which is network transparent and system independent.

In addition to software packages distributed by the University Data Project (UNIDATA), software tools developed by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and the University of Illinois are used to display, animate, and manipulate conventional maps, satellite images, and radar summaries. The underlying idea is to bring every product from a traditional synoptic laboratory to any desktop computer residing on the network.

An overview of the University of Illinois prototype for a paperless, desktop synoptic lab, together with the details of the hardware and software involved, is presented here, along with some examples of its use in teaching and research.

*Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois, 105 S. Gregory Avenue, Urbana, IL. Also affiliated with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois.

+Computing Services Office, 1453 Digital Computer Lab, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL

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