Delivering tailored MET information with the 4DWxCube and MET-Gate

In the framework of SESAR, national meteorological service providers from EUMETNET are developing innovative MET solutions for air traffic management. The four dimensional weather cube (4DWxCube) is a (virtual) repository of shared, consistent and translated meteorological information, produced by multiple meteorological service providers and made available to ATM stakeholders via its SWIM compliant MET-GATE. These MET solutions were used in a number of SESAR validation exercises in the first quarter of 2016.

The weather impacts everyone in aviation

One aspect of aviation that impacts everyone across Europe and the globe is the weather. There are many ways that the aviation community can be informed about the types of weather conditions that may impact their operations. Historically this information came in the form of regulated observations and forecasts for specific locations and areas (METAR, TAF and SIGMET). However the nature of meteorology means that weather crosses borders and one type of phenomenon may invoke different operational procedures depending on its location in Europe. This traditionally meant that there may be conflicting information about the impacts of an event and ultimately nobody feels that they have had the best possible service. Developments in SESAR as well as general improvements in MET research mean that the continuous stream of data can be better managed for users in the concept of the 4DWxCube.

MET information in SWIM formats for ATM operations

In the context of SESAR, the development of the 4DWxCube and the MET-GATE systems will enable users across Europe to access MET information in SWIM formats for their operations. By creating a consistent MET picture over Europe, i.e. consistent in location, time and user application, decision making will in turn be more consistent, reducing the potential for conflict and enhancing ATM predictability.

Tailored MET information for ATM

The 4DWxCube contains all the complexity of the weather forecasting and observation process and consolidates all the information in such a way that the user can extract the details relevant to their situation without having to concern themselves about which MET provider has produced the forecast. The MET-GATE is designed as a one stop shop for MET, providing SWIM services from classical regulated products to innovative products related to the latest scientific fields such as convection, icing and clear air turbulence. The MET-Gate is the SWIM compliant user interface for ATM stakeholders.


Innovative collaboration of the European national MET service providers 

Through EUMETNET, the national MET service providers have collaborated in innovative ways to develop the 4DWxCube and MET-GATE. During the first quarter of 2016, tailored MET information has been used to support decision making in a number of SESAR validation exercises including: de-icing management at airports; ATFCM measures; and the use of ensemble weather forecasts in trajectory planning. TOPLINK, a SESAR large scale demonstration, and the SWIM Global Demonstration will provide further opportunities to demonstrate the benefits of tailored MET information.

For more information about the 4DWxCube/MET-GATE and its uses please refer back to the fact-sheet below or contact EUMETNET, Rosalind Lapsley.


4DWxCube MET-GATE fact sheet

TOPLINK MET information sheet