This work package will develop the main software component used for exchanging weather radar data in BALTRAD. Each member of the network is called a node, and all nodes have equal status in this decentralized network. Thus, each node is both a server and a client. Together with WP4 (Data Catalogue), this work package constitutes the backbone of the BALTRAD network functionality.
The data exchanged using this functionality will include the radar data itself, information on the quality of the radar data, and information describing all data being exchanged. BALTRAD will work with any network which follows the Internet Protocol (IP), e.g. the Internet itself and the Regional Meteorological Data Communication Network (RMDCN). This means that we can use reserve connections should the primary ones fail. We expect that this work package will be largely based on existing software, since there are several qualified software frameworks available for networking that would work well. However, we emphasize that the core network will comply with EUMETNET OPERA recommendations and standards defined by the World Meteorological Organization, and it will be licensed according to Open Source principles.
The core network (WP3) will find and manage all data swiftly and competently through the creation of a database which contains detailed information on the characteristics of all data exchanged and processed in BALTRAD. This database acts as a "data catalogue" which the core network uses when exchanging data. The creation of the data catalogue is the main aim of WP4. Since we are aiming to use BALTRAD as a decentralized network, the information contained in each partner's catalogue will be available to all other partners. This will make it possible for partners to request and receive data.
Combined with the core network, the data catalogue constitutes the backbone of the BALTRAD network functionality. Data from each national radar network will be input into BALTRAD using software interfaces/adapters which will harmonize all data to a common standard representation: HDF5 as defined by EUMETNET OPERA (the so-called ODIM_H5). An emphasis will be put on data quality and methods used to describe quality in a harmonized way. The data catalogue will comply with standards defined in EUMETNET OPERA and the World Meteorological Organization. The data catalogue created for BALTRAD will be licensed according to Open Source principles.
Production deals with taking input radar echoes and producing meaningful output, e.g. rain rate, wind direction/speed, or hail warning. The goal WP5 is to create a production framework which allows each node in the network to process its own and others’ data according to local needs, using a common set of harmonized methods. The framework will provide such methods to partners who do not have them today. Harmonized methods will also ensure that, unlike the situation today, all radar data are processed consistently, thereby improving the overall quality of the information. A decentralized network like BALTRAD implies that the methods in the framework can be configured optimally at each node, instead of having to accept a sub-optimal product generated centrally.
This work package will give each partner the tools to control their own production practises and achieve higher quality results. Such a strategy leads to higher overall sustainability since knowledge is distributed throughout the region. This will affect the reliability of the information positively when it is in the hands of end-users and decision-makers. The framework will be licensed according to Open Source principles.