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Product Spotlight: DOPRAD Linux

Jul 23, 2001  •  Post A Comment

What it is: DOPRAD Linux, from Advanced Designs Corp., is the newest iteration of the company’s Doppler weather radar system and is based on the Linux operating system.
Reason for change: ADC has used DOS, Windows, Windows NT and Unix for past versions of its weather system. Marty Riess, president of ADC in Bloomington, Ind., said the company chose Linux because of the “rock solid” platform, better network connectivity and greater reliability, since Linux systems do not crash often. “We wanted to move in a direction where we weren’t depending on Bill Gates,” he said. “In a Windows OS there is a massive amount of stuff in there. In Linux you can prune the OS down to what you want to do and optimize it for what you need.”
Features and benefits: DOPRAD Linux allows for more advanced 3-D weather data modeling and better network connectivity so a whole newsroom, for instance, can access the imagery. The system also provides faster access to street-level maps, automatic tilt adjustment and an option for higher-resolution imagery for the Internet. These features will not be ported back to old system. “All the new stuff gets put into the Linux system,” Mr. Riess said.
Customers: ADC, in business since 1982, has about 200 customers using its systems in broadcast, government and the oil industry. Mr. Riess estimates about 50 percent to 60 percent of TV stations rely on ADC’s Doppler weather radar systems.
Competitors: Enterprise Electronics, Barron, Radtec Engineering.
Cost: As an upgrade to an existing system, the DOPRAD Linux costs about $21,000. A new system costs $200,000 to $300,000.
Availability: The system was introduced at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in April, and rollout began in May. ADC
expects to ship 20 to 30 systems within the next 12 months.
Target market: Mr. Riess expects 30 percent of his customer base each year for the next three years will upgrade to the Linux system. “We expect nearly all will transition,” he said.