GeoWorld December 2012

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OGC Plays Key Role in Next-Generation Aviation Information Systems OPENGEOSPATIAL CONNECTION F or several years, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) have been sponsoring Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) initiatives to prototype standards-based approaches that can be applied to next-generation systems for managing and distributing Aeronautical Information Services (AIS) data. Working with other agency sponsors and private-sector aviation industry participants, FAA and Eurocontrol developed the Aeronautical Information Exchange NADINE ALAMEH Model (AIXM), a standard designed to enable the management and distribution of AIS data in digital format. AIXM takes advantage of existing and emerging information-engineering standards to meet aeronautical information-system requirements, particularly those related to the highly spatiotemporal nature of aeronautical information. To ensure alignment with international standards for location information and ease its adoption by technology providers that already support OGC standards, AIXM 5 is encoded using the OGC Geography Markup Language (GML) Encoding Standard. Similarly, the Weather Information Exchange Model (WXXM) has been developed as a standard for exchanging weather information in support of aviation meteorology domain requirements. WXXM also is encoded using GML, and implements the OGC Observation and Measurement Model Encoding Standard. WXXM development is harmonized and coordinated with the International Civil Aviation Organization and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the organizations traditionally responsible for standards in aviation and weather. Nadine Alameh is director of Interoperability Programs, Open Geospatial Consortium; e-mail: nalameh@ 30 Procurements and Pilot Projects These new standards now are mature enough to provide a basis for procurements. The FAA recently issued a request for information (RFI) regarding the Common Support Services - Weather (CSS-Wx) Program (formerly the NNEW Program). The CSS-Wx System will be FAA���s G E O W O R L D / D E C E M B E R 2 O 1 2 single provider of aviation weather information. The RFI describes the ���rst set of high-level capabilities for CSS-Wx: 1. Filter weather information geospatially and temporally to provide only the speci���c data requested by a user (e.g., along a ���ight path in support of trajectory-based operations). 2. Provide weather information via Web Coverage Service, Web Feature Service and Web Map Service. 3. Perform weather data management. 4. Standardize weather information in common formats identi���ed by OGC. 5. Store, archive and retrieve weather information. 6. Manage discovery of information in real time. OGC also has successfully completed a pilot project (2011) sponsored by FAA to increase dissemination of Special Activity Airspace de���nitions and reservation schedules to its National Airspace System stakeholders using OGC Web Services and AIXM 5.1. OGC testbeds and pilot projects ensure that OGC standards, including GML (as implemented in AIXM), will meet the speci���c needs of the aviation community. Quite importantly, they also ensure that AIXM will be as interoperable as possible, because of GML���s broad use in a multitude of domains. GML is used with applications such as GIS, Earthimaging systems, Earth browsers (such as Google Earth and Microsoft���s Bing Maps), location-based services, meteorology models, weather information standards, navigation systems, sensor webs and other geospatial technologies. Such broad-spectrum interoperability, enabled by a standards consortium whose members represent many different information communities, ultimately gives the aviation community access to far more online geospatial data and Web services than would be available through aviation-only standards. By basing AIS solutions on a service-oriented architecture and open standards, the aviation community is opening the market for innovative new products and services that will help aviation companies realize higher levels of safety and ef���ciency. OGC Alliance Partnerships In aviation, as in other domains, OGC works with ���Alliance Partners��� to achieve common objectives. Many of these organizations collaborate with OGC on standards development, particularly when an interoperability solution depends on consistency among standards from different standards-development organizations. OGC Alliance Partners involved in aviation work include WMO, the Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium and others. OGC recently was appointed a Joint Single European Sky ATM Research Joint Undertaking Associate Partner in a consortium that includes several OGC member organizations.

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