Experimental Aviation Digital Data Service

The National Weather Service has overhauled part of its Aviation Testbed, the Experimental Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS). It’s a sandbox for the good folks at the Aviation Weather Center, who host the official ADDS, where they experiment with new ways of presenting information and test innovative reports and forecasts aimed at pilots, dispatchers, and others involved in flying from A to B.

The new site shows offs several innovations, including an intuitive interface and slick details, such as clean, easy-to-understand format for METARs and TAFs.

That display simultaneously shows both the coded text and a compact, but clear, breakdown of all the elements in plain language. I’d like to see this presentation become standard not just on the Web, but on displays in the cockpit as well.

You’ll find all the standard weather products on the Experimental ADDS website, including:

  • Prog charts
  • Winds aloft
  • Graphical AIRMETs and SIGMETs
  • Radar summaries
  • Satellite images
  • Forecasts of icing and turbulence
  • PIREPs

The new site also offers easy access to the latest versions of the Desktop Apps (the Flight Path Tool and HEMS Tool), which are handy ways to consolidate weather information to see how it might affect a specific route.

The HEMS tool, designed primarily for helicopter pilots who transport critically ill and injured patients, is especially handy for those of us fly at low altitude, because it:

Provides weather of interest to low altitude pilots in an interactive display. Interpolates 3D weather variables to AGL altitudes. Includes street-scale basemaps.

To get the greatest benefit and ease of use from the new Experimental ADDS site, register by creating a user name and password. When you log in with those credentials, you can customize the site by choosing a preferred home base and offer comments and suggestions in the new online forum.

For more information about the new site, see the Getting Started Guide (PDF).

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