History of MIKS

 

Today

Today, MIKS not only handles data communication for many types of data (local, regional, national, international), but also operates a number of general servers at the institute, including the mail server, FTP server, WEB server, Ninjo server, MSG reception and DWDSAT reception.

Alongside this operational data field, MIKS operates a number of externally funded projects, which fall into three categories : research and development projects with partners from business and industry, visualizations for the media sector (currently Terra3D) and information projects for the public, the majority of which involve student participation.


 

The Beginning

The Meteorological Information and Communication Systems (MIKS) group was first established in 1985/1986, when a computer link to the Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD, German National Weather Service)  (AFW system) was established, laying the cornerstone for operational digital data processing within the Institute's weather service.

During the first few years, a number of fundamental solutions were established. Planning and realization of automatic data processing chains was the first step. The incoming data consisted of synoptic data, model data, aerological data (and more) in text form, and imaging data as well as satellite data and radar images. The group's objective was to make the incoming data available to the other working groups, archive the data, and provide current, round-the-clock weather forecasting service with all the necessary automatic products, as well as ensuring communication with customers.

Business Weather Service

It was at that time that the Institute operated its “Business Weather Service,” which ensured that weather information was available to the public, the police and fire departments, media outlets, and all other customers in Berlin and the surrounding area.

Berlin Weather Map

The Berliner Wetterkarte was established as a daily weather report that was sent to customers all over the world. In 1986, the first Berlin Weather Map was published, with automatically decrypted and plotted weather reports prepared using programs the unit itself had developed.

WMO Station 10381

Weather monitoring was a major focus for the Institute right from the start. The Dahlem district of Berlin is home to the principal climate and synoptic data station, which supplies regular encrypted weather data (“weather telegrams”) to the worldwide network

Breaking New Ground

Wherever there was a need to be met, the group had to create its own products to address that need. The institute did groundbreaking work in a number of fields. For example, researchers at the institute worked together with SFB (a regional broadcaster in Berlin, now RBB) and Technische Universität to create a fully automated job chain that prepared incoming weather information for the radio weather report and used a data link to supply the information directly to the broadcasting studio, where it appeared on screen in front of the announcer or editor. Everything that could possibly be produced automatically on a repeat basis each day was automated, even including automatically generated texts made up of text components for the broadcasters’ weather reports. This was the only economical way to provide the rising number of private broadcasters with weather information and forecasts.

Externally Funded Projects

Since 1992, MIKS has been involved in externally funded projects that are working on the visualization of weather information for the media. After the Business Weather Service was eliminated at the end of 1993, MIKS intensified its work on these externally funded projects. For example, the parties involved in the “TeleVIS” project in 1997 were able to take a chance and spin off a new company from the project. The company, MeteoGraphics, now has more than 25 employees and is one of the best-known visualization companies in Europe.