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Automated Volume Scan Evaluation and Termination (AVSET). Field Test Training Presented by Joe Chrisman (ROC) and Jami Boettcher (WDTB). Background. WSR-88D VCPs automatically scan predefined elevation angles

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automated volume scan evaluation and termination avset

Automated Volume Scan Evaluation and Termination (AVSET)

Field Test Training

Presented by

Joe Chrisman (ROC) and

Jami Boettcher (WDTB)

  • WSR-88D VCPs automatically scan predefined elevation angles
  • All VCP elevations scanned regardless of areal coverage or significance of return
  • VCP update time fixed
    • All products updated at the fixed VCP completion time interval
why avset
  • Faster VCP updates long desired
    • Rotate the antenna faster?
      • More hardware stress and lowers base data quality
    • Sample fewer elevations?
      • Can’t predefine a VCP for every scenario
  • Best option is Automated Volume Scan Evaluation and Termination (AVSET)
avset in a nutshell
AVSET in a Nutshell
  • AVSET makes each volume scan “dynamic”
    • Number of angles scanned is dependent on the sampled meteorological return
  • Sampling above the weather?
    • Then stop the current volume scan and start a new one!
  • AVSET runs at RDA
how avset works
How AVSET Works
  • Terminates volume scan once returns fall below thresholds of dBZ and areal coverage
    • Shortens time between product updates when no significant data exists on higher elevation tilts
    • Antenna rotation rates and base data quality do not change!
  • Details forthcoming…
how avset works1
How AVSET Works
  • Only analyzes data above 5º
    • VCP 31 and 32 not impacted by AVSET
  • To terminate, each condition must be met:
    • ≥18 dBZ over < 80 km²
    • ≥ 30 dBZ over <30 km²
    • areal coverage ≥18 dBZ has not increased by 12 km² or more since the last volume scan
  • If all three conditions are met…
how avset works2
How AVSET Works
  • All three conditions met? Yes!!
    • AVSET terminates the volume scan aftercompletion of the next higher elevation
      • VCP 212 Example: Below thresholds at 5.1°? Will terminate after 6.4°
  • AVSET’s thresholds are defaults for now
avset and vcp 11 example
AVSET and VCP 11 Example
  • Lowest 4 elevations: 0.5°, 1.5°, 2.4°, and 3.4°
    • AVSET does no analysis here!
avset and vcp 11 example1
AVSET and VCP 11 Example
  • Next 4 elevations: 4.3°, 5.3°, 6.2°, and 7.5°
    • AVSET analyzes 5.3°, 6.2°, and 7.5° and
    • Returns are above thresholds
avset and vcp 11 example2
AVSET and VCP 11 Example
  • Next 3 elevations: 8.7°, 10.0°, and 12.0°
    • Returns fall below AVSET thresholds on 10.0°
      • 12.0° is sampled as the last elevation
  • Composite Reflectivity entire coverage
avset processing a closer look
AVSET ProcessingA Closer Look

Returns below AVSET Thresholds

Last Elevation Processed


Elevation we did not scan thanks to AVSET



AVSET thresholds expected to be sufficiently sensitive…

how low can we go
How Low Can We Go?
  • VCP 11 full volume scan time 4 min, 48 sec
    • AVSET shortest update3 min, 12 sec
  • VCP 12 full volume scan time 4 min, 18 sec
    • AVSET shortest update3 min, 12 sec
how low can we go1
How Low Can We Go?
  • VCP 212 full volume scan time 4 min, 36 sec
    • AVSET shortest update3 min, 30 sec
  • VCP 21 full volume scan 5 min, 48 sec
    • AVSET shortest update4 min, 54 sec
avset and range to weather
AVSET and Range to Weather
  • AVSET with storms at close range
    • Entire VCP used
  • AVSET with storms at far range
    • Only relevant elevations above 5° used
areas of conce rn
Areas of Concern
  • Cone of Silence
  • Impacts on user systems
    • Other than bandwidth
  • Level II Bandwidth Impacts
    • Shortened volume scan times
    • More frequent product updates
cone of silence
Cone of Silence
  • Does AVSET increase the risk of missing elevated convection that develops in the cone of silence?
  • VCP 31 or 32 and 1st echo of the day
    • No AVSET impact in Clear Air Mode
cone of silence1
Cone of Silence
  • Worst case so far
    • Storms at long range; VCP 21; AVSET on; VCP terminates above 6.0°
    • New elevated cell very near RDA; AVSET not sampling high, but much more often!
  • Contributor?
    • Avoid VCP 21 andconvection! Gapsaloft!
cone of silence2
Cone of Silence
  • AVSET thresholds very sensitive
    • Threshold not met
    • Anything relevant at higher elevations very unlikely
  • Rapidly developing convection very close to the radar?
    • AVSET alsolooks for increase in areal coverage between scans
cone of silence3
Cone of Silence
  • If ≥18 dBZ increased ≥12 km2 at that elevation since last volume scan
    • AVSET applies even more sensitive thresholds to remaining elevations
      • ≥18 dBZ over < 30 km2 or ≥30 dBZ over <10 km2
    • If below these new thresholds, volume scan terminates after next higher elevation
  • AVSET results in more frequent sampling to find developing elevated convection


    • Storm cluster northeast
    • Isolated storm south
    • One hour intervals

Parkersburg-Dunkerton EF5 Tornado


VCP 212

Osceola EF0-EF1 Tornado


VCP 12



9 Tornado Warnings Issued During Period

AVSET Volume Scan Average = 3.7 mins

AVSET would have provided six additional volume scans

impacts on user systems
Impacts on User Systems
  • AVSET exercised at ROC since Spring 2009
  • AWIPS – No problems identified
  • OPUP – No problems identified
  • FAA User Systems – No problems identified
bandwidth impact analysis
Bandwidth Impact Analysis
  • Faster VCP updates => more bandwidth needed to send Level II data
    • Single site communications load worst case increase of 25-30%
      • Cumulative network load cannot be estimated using worst case single site figures

National Radar Mosaic from Aug 7, 2008 21:48Z

analysis method
Analysis Method

Radar Used In Analysis

Level II Not Available

  • 29 of 34 radars in area included in analysis
    • Level II data unavailable for five radars
  • Level II data replayed for 2100Z-2259Z on RPG with AVSET
  • No Clear Air VCP data used
bandwidth impact analysis conclusion
Bandwidth Impact Analysis Conclusion
  • Out of 29 sites…
    • 1 had increase of > 30%
    • 4 had increase of 20 - 30 %
    • 6 had increase of 10 – 20 %
    • 8 had increase of 1 - 10%
    • 10 had 0 or < 1% increase
  • Average Level II bandwidth increase over the region due to AVSET < 10 %
field test specifics
Field Test Specifics..
  • Test Objectives
    • Why are we doing this test?
  • User Control
  • Schedule and Participating Sites
  • Reporting results
field test objectives
Field Test Objectives
  • Verify that AVSET supports forecast and warning operations
  • Verify that AVSET does not adversely affect the operation of NEXRAD during active weather periods
  • Verify AVSET-produced volume scans with varying completion durations do not adversely impact
    • Forecast and warning operations
    • User data processing and display systems
user control
User Control
  • AVSET part of RPG Build 12.0 software; however…
    • Only AVSET Field Test sites (you!) get the “turn it on” software
    • Will also receive the “Test Log”
  • AVSET Enable/Disable toggle at RPG HCI
user control avset rules of engagement
User Control:AVSET Rules of Engagement
  • AVSET default state is “Disabled”
    • Automatically disabled with any switch to Clear Air Mode (VCP 31 or 32)
  • AVSET must be enabled manually
    • When any Precipitation Mode VCP is active, AVSET can be activated
      • Once selected, AVSET status PENDING until start of next volume scan
user control avset rules of engagement1
User Control:AVSET Rules of Engagement
  • During Field Test period, use AVSET as often as possible
  • If for any reason you become uncomfortable with AVSET, disable it
    • Please record on the Test Log reason(s) for not using AVSET for the particular event
user control avset rules of engagement2
User Control:AVSET Rules of Engagement
  • Send FTM to all users each time AVSET manually enabled or disabled
    • Console Message windowfrom RPG Control/Status
user control avset rules of engagement3
User Control:AVSET Rules of Engagement
  • Also…
    • Please record date/time when AVSET is enabled or disabled in the Test Log
avset field test your users
AVSET Field Test:Your Users
  • For the DoD and FAA users…
    • If you feel AVSET is compromising your systems or your ability to perform your mission…
    • First contact the WSR-88D Hotline
      • 1-800-643-3363
  • Hotline will verify the problem and will issue request to disable AVSET
  • Please record request & reason in Test Log
field test participants
Field TestParticipants
  • NWS
    • Southern Region:
      • Norman, OK (KTLX) and Melbourne, FL (KMLB)
    • Central Region:
      • Goodland, KS (KGLD), Indianapolis, IN (KIND), Pueblo, CO (KPUX), and St. Louis, MO (KLSX)
    • Eastern Region:
      • Sterling, VA (KLWX) and State College, PA (KCCX)
    • Western Region:
      • Glasgow, MT (KGGW) and Tucson, AZ (KEMX)
field test participants1
Field TestParticipants
    • 25th OWS, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ
      • Associated to KEMX, KPUX, and KGGW
    • 15th OWS, Scott AFB, IL
      • Associated to KLWX, KCCX, KLSX, and KIND
    • 26th OWS, Barksdale AFB, LA
      • Associated to KTLX, KLSX, and KMLB
  • FAA
    • Indianapolis ARTCC, Indianapolis, IN
      • Associated to KIND
here s what we know so far
Here’s What We Know So Far
  • AVSET can reduce volume scan duration ≤ 100 s
  • Bandwidth:
    • Per site Level II increase ~28%
    • Per connection narrowband increase ~25%
    • “Regional” Bandwidth increases ~10%
    • Dual Pol bandwidth upgrade expected to support AVSET
  • Cone of Silence:
    • Enhanced logic to address rapid cell growth close to radar
    • Sampling much more often during cell growth time
  • No impacts to user systems identified
avset future plans
AVSET Future Plans
  • Thank you for your participation!
    • Really couldn’t do it without you
  • Given successful completion of AVSET Field Test…
    • Brief NEXRAD SREC on Field Test Results
      • Gain approval to include AVSET in Build 13
    • Submit CCR to make AVSET operational in Build 13
  • Joe Chrisman (ROC Engineering)
    • AVSET Developer and Field Test Director
      • Work Phone: 405-573-3335
      • Cell Phone: 405-694-5025
    • Can address content, test procedures, logistics
  • Jami Boettcher (WDTB)
    • Can address content