Web Information Service for Pilots Gains RAF Accreditation 02.20.2003
The NOTAM Display System (NDS) enables aircrew to input routing information, typically taken from a Flight Plan, via an ordinary web browser, and to retrieve and display all NOTAMs (Notice To AirMen) that impact on that flight. The purpose of the NDS is to provide aircrew with an effective method of identifying only those NOTAMs that are relevant to their particular journey, according to a variety of search criteria.
NDS has been available for military usage over the world-wide web via an Internet service since September 2002, and via a limited-access AIDU Intranet service since October 2002. In that time the service has received much acclaim throughout the MoD and the accreditation is testament to this.
The accreditation means that the Intranet service has been switched over to the high-bandwidth RAF Local Data Communications Network, increasing the accessibility and performance of the service to military personnel.
No. 1 AIDU's Commanding Officer, Wing Commander Gary Barber says:
"No. 1 AIDU is delighted with the system that has been delivered by Laser-Scan. The NOTAM Display System is a service that has been long awaited by aircrew, and it has received great acclaim since its launch. It is an intuitive, easy to use service, and its accreditation and launch on the LDCN Intranet make it available to aircrew throughout the Royal Air Force."
To enhance the service further, work is already underway for a second release, which will see the introduction of extra functionality in Spring 2003. Furthermore, requirements for a planned third release are currently under review.
The NDS is based on Laser-Scan's Gothic Web Mapper technology. The Internet service is hosted at Laser-Scan, whilst the RAF-Intranet service is hosted at No.1 AIDU. NDS employs a dynamic concept in data management, with live NOTAM feeds coming from No. 1 AIDU and updating both services via HTTP, so as to maintain a consistent information service across both Internet and Intranet. Underlying Aeronautical Information, used for contextual map displays, is updated on a 28-day AIRAC cycle.
The NDS is supported by an Aeronautical Object-Oriented Database (AOODB) which has been created by Laser-Scan for No.1 AIDU. The AOODB will underpin a number of strategic geo-spatial solutions for No.1 AIDU, including the comprehensive Aeronautical Production System (APS). Laser-Scan is currently developing the APS for No.1 AIDU, for the maintenance and production of a variety of Flight Information Publications.