EU Project Helps Tackle Airborne Hazards in the Cloud

KNMI logo

 

The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) is the Dutch national weather service and a partner in the EUNADICS-AV project, whose goal it is to make data on airborne hazards, like volcanic eruptions, easily available to airlines. KNMI is using AWS Lambda to run code for processing atmospheric data and Amazon DynamoDB for storing file metadata. Using Amazon Web Service (AWS), KNMI was able to launch an IT infrastructure in weeks to tackle airborne hazards.

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"With AWS, KNMI gained the backing of a cloud provider that offers an enormous choice of out-of-the-box services with support. Despite having a small IT team, we built a scalable, robust, versatile, fit-for-purpose, and agile weather solution in a matter of weeks."

— Wim Som de Cerff, senior researcher, KNMI

 

  • About KNMI
  • Benefits of AWS
  • AWS Services Used
  • About KNMI
  • The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) is the Dutch national weather service. It provides weather forecasting services and monitors changes in climate, air quality, and seismic activity.

     

     

  • Benefits of AWS
    • Setting up agile infrastructure in just weeks
    • Avoiding IT management tasks
    • Staying focused on writing code
    • Scaling to support a disaster
  • AWS Services Used

A Project to Make Skies Safer

KNMI’s primary tasks are forecasting and monitoring weather, climate, air quality, and seismic activity. The institute supports the European Natural Airborne Disaster Information and Coordination System for Aviation (EUNADICS-AV) project, whose goal is to share data on airborne hazards, such as volcanic eruptions, so airlines can reroute flights and keep passengers safe.

 

Focusing on Code, Not IT Management

KNMI launched a pilot infrastructure for EUNADICS-AV on AWS. Wim Som de Cerff, senior researcher at KNMI, says, “With AWS, KNMI gained the backing of a cloud provider that offers an enormous choice of out-of-the-box services with support. Despite having a small IT team, we’ve built a scalable, robust, versatile, fit-for-purpose, and agile weather solution in a matter of weeks.”

KNMI uses AWS Lambda to process 5–10 files sent from a European Space Agency satellite each hour on atmospheric conditions. KNMI stores the files from the satellite in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) buckets.

 

Each new file in Amazon S3 triggers an event that is picked up by AWS Batch, a fully managed batch processing service, which in turn launches a Docker container to extract the file’s metadata.

KNMI stores the metadata, including the time and location of atmospheric readings from the satellite’s files in Amazon DynamoDB.

Says Saskia Wagenaar, software engineer at KNMI, “Amazon DynamoDB had the flexibility to handle the different data schemas. We didn’t have to design the database upfront. We could let it grow organically.”

 

 

KNMI Architecture

Rapid Scaling When Disaster Strikes

With AWS, KNMI can scale its infrastructure automatically in a disaster.

“The infrastructure could ingest terabytes of data from around Europe without issue. AWS Auto Scaling increases capacity so airlines have the data to keep passengers safe and minimize flight disruption,” says Som de Cerff.

 


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