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The WMO AMDAR Panel

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  1. Background
  2. History of the Panel
  3. AMDAR Panel Terms of Reference at Cessation

 

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Background

Following on from the successful ASDAR programme, the WMO AMDAR Panel was formally established in March 1998. The Panel ceased activities in 2012 at the conclusion of its 15th Session, formally handing over responsibility for the AMDAR observing system and its programmatic governance to WMO and its Technical Commissions under a new work structure. The important work of the Panel is documented here.

History of the Panel

At the inaugural meeting of the Panel, the goals and terms of reference and the membership and operating procedures were agreed upon. The goal of the AMDAR Panel was to enhance the upper-air component of the Composite Observing System of the WWW. This was to be achieved through cooperation among Members in the acquisition, exchange and quality control of meteorological observations from aircraft using automated reporting systems. The Panel recognized a fundamental principle of WMO to broaden and enhance the free and unrestricted international exchange of data, and noted the increasing availability of aircraft platforms with suitable sensors, avionics and communications systems.

The Panel was established to take advantage of the opportunity to use these new cost-effective global data sources to better respond to the needs of WMO and WMO-sponsored programmes such as the WWW, World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) and Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), and to bring potential benefits to end-users in aviation and other communities. The Panel was considered necessary to ensure a coordinated approach to the development of AMDAR as an operational global programme with particular benefits in data-sparse areas of the world. To help facilitate the work of the Panel, a Technical Coordinator (TC) was appointed in April 1999. An AMDAR Trust Fund was established to assist with the work of the Panel and is reliant on voluntary contributions from Panel members.

Goals and Terms of Reference of the AMDAR Panel

The goal of the Panel shall be to enhance the upper-air component of the Observing System of the World Weather Watch through cooperation among Members in the acquisition, exchange and quality control of meteorological observations from aircraft using automated reporting systems. Recognizing a fundamental principle of WMO to broaden and enhance the free and unrestricted international exchange of data, and noting the increasing availability of aircraft platforms with suitable sensors, avionics and communication systems, the Panel is established to take advantage of the opportunity to use these new cost-effective global data sources to better respond to the needs of WMO and WMO-sponsored programmes such as the WWW, WCRP, GCOS and GOOS, and to bring potential benefits to end-users in aviation and other communities. The Panel is considered necessary to ensure a coordinated approach to the development of AMDAR as an operational global programme with particular benefits in data-sparse areas of the world. To achieve the goal, the AMDAR Panel shall:

  1. Consider the expressed needs of the international meteorological and climatological communities for data from automated meteorological reports from aircraft and initiate action from its members, or others as appropriate, to meet these needs;
  2. Facilitate the coordination of existing national and international programmes of automated meteorological reporting from aircraft so as to optimize the provision and timely exchange of high-quality data at minimum cost;
  3. Propose, organize and implement, through the coordination of national and regional efforts, the expansion of the current and future AMDAR Programme, to obtain such data, particularly in data-sparse areas of the world;
  4. Promote the exchange and dissemination of all appropriate automated meteorological reports from aircraft through the GTS and other systems as appropriate;
  5. Promote the dissemination, exchange and use of information on AMDAR data availability and quality among Members and data providers, with a view to initiating appropriate corrective action;
  6. Promote the exchange of information on AMDAR and encourage the development and transfer of appropriate technology;
  7. Ensure that other bodies actively involved in automated meteorological reporting from aircraft are informed of the workings of the Panel and encourage, as appropriate, their participation in Panel deliberations;
  8. Make and regularly review administrative arrangements as necessary, including securing the services of a Technical Coordinator when necessary;
  9. Promote joint funding arrangements, as appropriate, for the development, implementation and operation of the AMDAR Programme;
  10. Liaise and interact as appropriate with the relevant sections of the aviation community on issues of common concern, such as data acquisition, data management, communications and costs; and
  11. Submit annual progress reports to WMO’s Executive Council.

Membership and Operating Procedures of the AMDAR Panel

The Panel is recognized as a body within the WMO structure, with the endorsement of the WMO Executive Council, fostering active cooperation among Members in the implementation and operation of AMDAR as a component of the WWW Composite Observing System.

Members:
Panel members shall be Members of WMO that operate or intend to operate AMDAR programmes and are willing to contribute to the Panel’s activities.

Observers:
Representatives of any organization or programme actively involved in the use, development, collection or provision of automated meteorological reports from aircraft, or which specifically require such data, may be invited to participate as observers in meetings of the Panel.

Operating Procedures of the Panel:

  1. The Panel will normally meet annually. It will elect a chairperson and vice chairperson from among the representatives of the Panel members, and will appoint working groups as necessary to carry out the agreed work programme of the Panel between sessions. The chairperson will prepare reports for WMO, as required;
  2. The chairperson may call on representatives of individual Panel members for assistance in matters such as the representation of the Panel at meetings of other bodies, the preparation of reports on specific topics, etc.;
  3. A Technical Coordinator may be appointed to support the work of the Panel. The costs associated with this position will be supported through contributions to a trust fund;
  4. A biennial budget will be developed and approved by the Panel. This budget and associated income and expenditure will be reviewed at the annual meeting of the Panel;
  5. The WMO Secretary-General will provide appropriate support to the Panel and manage any trust fund established;
  6. The working language of the Panel shall be English;
  7. The Panel’s Terms of Reference, membership and operating procedures shall be reviewed and revised as necessary at the annual meeting. The chairperson shall prepare recommendations to be distributed before the meeting.

AMDAR Panel Terms of Reference at Cessation

The AMDAR Panel Terms of Reference were reviewed on an annual basis and updated as necessary. The most recent version, which was in effect at the cessation of the AMDAR Panel is available from the WMO FTP site:

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