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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Jul 9

Written by:
7/9/2009 7:33 AM  RssIcon

HurricaneWith the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season officially underway, the National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Hurricane Center (NHC) at Florida International University (Miami campus) is closely monitoring tropical weather threats. The NHC is home to the United States' leading experts in the field of hurricane forecasting and boasts a full staff of meteorological and computer scientists. In order to do their job, the NOAA/NHC teams have selected Vista Systems' Spyder for processing, formatting and displaying high-resolution meteorological data for media briefings and internal presentations.

"The Vista Spyder gives us the ability to take different wide-aspect video resolutions, format them to a common high-fidelity video output and easily configure them via a Graphical User Interface (GUI)," says Salim Leyva, supervisory IT specialist for the NHC. Leyva also works as an engineer, designing and implementing different types of systems from video, EMF satellite/radar ingest to networking, security and communications. "The Spyder allows us to display wide-aspect resolutions, in the range of 1920x1200 to professional-style displays, all the while maintaining video fidelity for viewing the fine details." The functionality that Leyva describes is crucial to analyzing and communicating the impact a storm can have on a region.

For the last eight years, the NHC has deployed Vista Systems' Flat Panel Interactive Display System (FIDS) to display 1280x1024 4:3 meteorological data for media briefings and internal presentations.

"This model has worked very well from both a systems and user perspective, so I wanted to maintain the same type of paradigm for our next-generation system," says Leyva. "When I was doing research for the centerpiece video formatter that would become part of the new system, I kept coming back to the Spyder because of its technological abilities, ratings and reputation. I liked the Spyder so much that it became the building block for a new system of my design at the University of Maryland. This new system has been implemented at two media briefing areas of the new NOAA/National Weather Service/National Centers for Weather Prediction building at the university campus. The Spyder is also being used in a new A/V system for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Hurricane Liaison Team."

Leyva gives kudos to the Spyder's utility and performance. "It's the best thing since sliced bread," he declares. "It provides us with a great amount of video processing and user flexibility and has enabled us to accomplish the NHC's imaging goals for this hurricane season."

About NOAA/NHC

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.

About Vista Systems

Vista Systems was recently acquired by Christie, a global leader in visual solutions for business, entertainment and industry, to create a comprehensive source for image processing and projection solutions. The acquisition combines the power and flexibility of Vista's video switchers and real-time windowing and composition products with the power, performance and reliability of award-winning Christie projection systems. Vista Systems' switchers have become the industry standard for live multiple-destination video and data mixed signal switching. For more information on Vista Systems, visit their website at www.vistasystems.net.

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