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Continuously updating WX radar?

  1. The client wants a continuously updating weather radar image displayed on a computer monitor in the ops center. I seriously doubt anyone offers free streaming weather radar online and I don’t think the client fully understands that the image he sees when he pulls up NOAA never changes unless he refreshes it.

    One idea I’ve come up with is to invoke IE from command line with a URL, like:
    “iexplore http://weather.an/product_images/high/ppicolor.html”
    which opens the radar image in a browser. With XP’s “tskill” or “ntsd” commands I could kill the IE process after X minutes, then restart the batch file. Crude but effective.

    Anyone know of a better way (extra points for style)? Or of a WX radar site with free streaming?
     
  2. The image isn’t the big bugaboo. It’s getting it to refresh so a pilot doesn't look at a stale image and think it’s current. Streaming video would really be t*ts.
     
  3. A radar "loop" presents the same problem as a still image; it grows stale and needs manual refreshing. And that particular site has no coverage of my part of the world.
     
  4. Go to www.flightaware.com and enter the airport code and select "view airport activity" in the lower left corner. This will pull up the information for the airport in your area (in my case KPNS).

    In the upper right of the next page loaded, you'll see a depiction of the current traffic coming/going into the aiport -- with NEXRAD radar information in a type of underlay. Click on that image and it will enlarge it into a new window. Leave it open and it will automatically refresh the traffic and weather images roughly every 1.5 to 1.75 minutes.

    You may have to initially register on the site -- but it is free.

    Here's what the updating image looked like in my area at the time of my post:

    [​IMG]

    Another option if you want more capability, would be to purchase the Anywhere Weather XP software from www.anywheremap.com and load it onto a PC in the OPS center -- buy the XM Weatherworks Blue Tooth weather box and connect it to a 12volt powersupply. You'll have to somehow get the antenna for the weatherworks box to a clear view of the sky -- and you'll need to subscribe to XM's Aviator ($49.95) or Aviator Lite ($29.95) service. But leaving the system on and connected to the PC will give you continuously updating weather information (every 5 minutes) with the ability to see lightning, winds aloft, METARS, TAFS, Echo Tops, Sat images, and NEXRAD all depicted upon a map where the user can interact to zoom, loop, etc.
     
  5. Thanks flyandscuba. That site would have been pert' near perfect, except my airport, TNCC, ..."is outside of FlightAware's service area and will only show data on flights to/from FlightAware's service area and be generally unreliable." :frown:
     
  6. I found a “good enough” image from NOAA but it’s still not exactly what the client was looking for.

    For the refreshing, I’ve worked out a solution worthy of Rube Goldberg. The PC is on the network but not on the domain. It’s logged in using local credentials, which don’t have permission to cross the firewall. I use “runas” with the “/savecred” switch and start IE with a domain account. And I’m using SysInternal’s “pskill” command to terminate the iexplore.exe executable after a predetermined time. The logon account can’t terminate a process started by the domain account and the domain account has no local authority so I have to invoke the “pskill” with another “runas”, this time using the creds of the local administrator’s account. Once it’s killed, I can restart the whole process which loads a fresh copy of the web page.

    I posted the same Q on another board and was directed to the executable at:
    http://www.windowsmarketplace.com/details.aspx?itemId=19736&rrso=datedsc#productReviews
    This is an IE add-on that forces a refresh and works perfectly but I didn’t use it – despite its simplicity – because the Rube Goldberg method lets me cycle through a sequence of different web pages, and blinking lights make the client happy. ;)