The global Aircraft Meteorological DAta Relay (AMDAR) programme was initiated by WMO and its Members in cooperation with aviation partners. It has led to the development of the AMDAR observing system. The AMDAR observing system is a sub-system of the WMO Integrated Global Observing System and the Global Observing System, which is defined and maintained under the WMO World Weather Watch Programme.
The AMDAR system utilises predominantly existing aircraft onboard sensors, computers and communications systems to collect, process, format and transmit meteorological data to ground stations via satellite or radio links. Once on the ground, the data is relayed to National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, where it is processed, quality controlled and transmitted on the WMO Information System (WIS).
The AMDAR observing system now (June 2018) produces over 700 000 high-quality observations per day of air temperature and wind speed and direction, together with the required positional and temporal information, and with an increasing number of humidity and turbulence measurements being made.
The data collected is used for a range of meteorological applications, including, public weather forecasting, climate monitoring and prediction, early warning systems for weather hazards and, importantly, weather monitoring and prediction in support of the aviation industry.
The global AMDAR observing system is comprised of the operational AMDAR observing systems maintained by National and Regional AMDAR Programmes in collaboration with their partner airlines.
WMO and the International Air Transport Assocation (IATA) have a Working Arrangement on the Operation of the AMDAR Programme and expect to launch a collaborative initiative in the near future to expand and enhance the AMDAR Programme in support of both the aviation and meteorological communities.