Interactive image data processing has greatly improved the capability to extract scientific information from satellite image data. Previous methods of batch processing did not allow the scientist to interpret intermediate results on a short enough time scale to effectively modify either the data or processes as required for efficient data extraction.

A primary Goddard Space Flight Center meteorological program objective is to develop methods to improve detection and prediction of severe storms using geostationary satellite measurements. Interactive data processing systems can perform many tasks towards meeting this objective.

The development of interactive image processing techniques which have led to meteorological data processing systems at the Goddard Space Flight Center are discussed. Hardware and software functions of the existing Image Display and Manipulation System (IDAMS) and the special purpose METPAK software package which has been developed for performing meteorology operations on IDAMS are described. A second generation interactive image processing system, the Atmospheric and Oceanographic Information Processing System (AOIPS), which is under development, is also outlined. These systems are being designed to provide the necessary high throughput required for analysis of geostationary satellite data in the time domain.

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