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  World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Global Data Center (GDC)

Global Data Center for Aircraft Based Observations (GDC-ABO)


In May of 2017 the World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) Executive Council established MADIS as the Global Data Center (GDC) for the Aircraft Based Observations (ABO). MADIS has collected, Quality Controlled (QC), and stored ABO observations since July 1, 2001. MADIS currently provides services for viewing and downloading all ABO data. It is envisioned that under the direction of the WMO and NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) that the GDC-ABO will be enhanced to more fully accommodate WMO requirements for ABO services.

ABO Services

Data Application

All users should request access to MADIS data by submitting a data application. The data application will provide access to public and restricted ABO data. Public ABO data is available after 48 hours with the exception of aircraft containing the WVSS-II sensor. Any aircraft with the WVSS-II senosor have publicly available realtime data. Restricted aircraft data is available in realtime and only by users who have been approved by the MADIS system. For more information on data restrictions, please click here.

Graphical Displays

MADIS currently provides two ABO graphic displays, Public and Restricted. Both displays feature the same functionality with access to view archive data, flight points, flight paths, skew-t plots, skew-t information, variable information and more. The differences between the two displays are that the Restricted display requires MADIS approval and user access through the Data Application above while the Public display does not, and the Public display restricts user access to publicly available and unrestricted ABO data only.

MADIS Aircraft Display (Public)
MADIS Aircraft Display (Restricted)

Applications Program Interface (API)

MADIS provides an Applications Program Interface (API) and related utility programs, which allow easy access to MADIS observations without having to develop a program for reading netCDF files. The API allows each user to specify station and observation types, as well as QC choices, and domain and time boundaries. It is important to note that MADIS reserves the right to change netcdf files to accompany any development enhancements to the MADIS systems, therefore, it is best to read the API directly to gain access to the netcdf files. The API will have the most current and up to date information.

Many of the implementation details that arise in data ingest programs are automatically performed. Users of the MADIS API, for example, can choose to have their wind data automatically rotated to a specified grid projection, and/or choose to have mandatory and significant levels from radiosonde data interleaved, sorted by descending pressure, and corrected for hydrostatic consistency. The API is designed so that the underlying format of the database is completely invisible to the user.

ABO Information

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Last updated 27 July 2018