This research was done by IT-224 students (Tashi Mills, S. Robinson, N. Madden & J Henry).
The use of information technology in any sphere of live makes work easier. Technology can be applied in the field of science in several forms. For instance: in meteorology, surgery and in medical science. The application of technology in these areas enhances productivity. Technology can also open a route for the use of these applications in the future.
The author of (Using Computers is Critical to our Operations, n.d) asserted that display and telecommunication network called the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) is the centerpiece of National Weather Service operations. AWIPS is an interactive, versatile computer system that integrates all meteorological, hydrological, satellite, and radar data into one computer workstation. AWIPS allows forecasters the interactive capability to view, analyze, combine, and manipulate large amounts of graphical and alphanumeric weather data. AWIPS provides a very efficient and effective means for forecasters to prepare and issue timely and accurate forecasts and warnings.
There are two main weather software packages in AWIPS - Display Two Dimensions (D2D) and Graphical Forecast Editor (GFE). D2D is a graphical software application that incorporates most available weather information into an easy-to-use interface for analysis. GFE is an on-screen editor that allows forecasters to create detailed graphical depictions of upcoming weather, which forms the basis for all of our text products and graphical products. (Using Computers is Critical to our Operations, n.d)
How it is being used.
AWIPS ingests and analyzes data, creates useful visualizations and distributes time-sensitive weather statements such as watches and warnings.(Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System , 2015).
How AWIPS contributes to productivity.
• Provides common solution to address remote access requirements to support Incident Meteorologists, e.g., Fire Wx, Weather Service Offices etc.
• Allows remote users to have access to latest set of AWIPS capabilities
• Provides partial solution for COOP scenarios at NCs and RFCs
• In combination with Data Delivery Project, allows us to begin to analyze future opportunities for utilizing cloud computing (Schotz, 2010)
Future prospects of AWIPS.
AWIPS II - THE AWIPS OF THE FUTURE
AWIPS is in the transitioning process of upgrading to AWIPS II. AWIPS II includes powerful new capabilities that help meteorologists deliver more precise forecasts sooner. Nationwide rollout of AWIPS II is scheduled to be completed in September, 2015. As the architect of the AWIPS evolution, Raytheon designed, developed and is now deploying the system's next-generation hardware and software. AWIPS II is bringing advanced functionality to forecasters in the field. It also simplifies code and consequently strengthens system performance while reducing the maintenance burden. All of this has been achieved while retaining a system look and feel that makes the AWIPS evolution appear familiar to the user.
Innovative capabilities of AWIPS II include:
• Scalable from laptops to servers, enabling forecasters to work on location with emergency responders
• Uses data from all kinds of sources, such as weather radars and environmental satellites orbiting in space
• Highest resolution available from each sensor – enabling precision forecasts
• Open-source software enables low-cost maintenance, stability, and most importantly, continuous improvement to forecast accuracy and timeliness
• A variety of data types are processed in real time, allowing video game-like visualizations and interaction
• Maps display and re-project nearly instantaneously, with seamless scrolling and zooming
• Automated text generation allows weather statements — such as watches and warnings — to be issued rapidly to help protect lives and safeguard property.(Raytheon).
Weather Surveillance Radar 88 Doppler.
Radar produces "velocity" or Doppler data which shows which way the winds are blowing in the atmosphere. Areas that are colored red indicate winds that are blowing away from our radar site. Areas that are colored in green indicate winds that are blowing toward the radar site. (Using Computers is Critical to our Operations, n.d)
WSR 88D - Weather Surveillance Radar 88 Doppler (the 88 refers to the year 1988 when the system was commissioned). The WSR-88D shows the location, intensity, and movement of precipitation, ranging from light snow flurries to very heavy rain and large hail. From movement of precipitation, the WSR-88D also can sense motion (i.e., velocity) in the atmosphere directed toward and away from radar. Velocity data helps in assessing atmospheric wind fields, as well as severe weather velocity signatures from thunderstorms.(Using Computers is Critical to our Operations, n.d)
The WSR-88D system contains various software algorithms as well that produce a number of other radar products and alarms when threshold values of certain parameters are met. Radar also can communicate with other WSR-88D systems via dial-up capabilities. The WSR-88D greatly enhances the ability of NWS forecasters to issue short-term forecasts for any weather situation, as well as timely and accurate warnings during severe thunderstorm events. Forecasters undergo in-depth training in order to become highly proficient with the radar and to properly interpret severe weather radar signatures. Data available from the WSR-88D allows NWS meteorologists to thoroughly dissect and evaluate thunderstorms and their trends, all of which are extremely helpful in the warning decision process. Accurate spotter reports also are critical to assist in the analysis process and to verify radar signatures. As technology advances, the ability of the radar is updated with new software algorithms. (Using Computers is Critical to our Operations, n.d)
How Weather Surveillance Radar 88 Doppler is being used.
• Calculate wind motion.
• Estimate types of rain, snow, hail and so on.
• Detecting the motion of rain droplets in addition to the intensity of the precipitation
(Weather radar, 2015).
How Weather Surveillance Radar 88 Doppler contributes to production.
A very important facet of the new National Weather Service doppler weather radars is the ability, through the understanding of the principle of the Doppler Shift, to not only detect the precipitation (what we have referred to as "reflectivity") but to also detect the motion of the precipitation elements toward or away from the radar, something we refer to as "radial velocity." For the first time ever, by color coding the motion of these targets/echoes, we are able to see wind motion within the precipitation field when that motion is toward or away from the radar. When using the radial velocity and storm relative motion products from the doppler weather radar, it is critical that you understand that "cool" colors (green) indicate motion toward the radar, while "hot" colors (red) indicate wind motion away from the radar.
(The basics of weather radar , n,d)
Future prospects for Weather Surveillance Radar 88 Doppler.
New algorithm development coupled with improvements in radar technology such as polarization diversity promise signification improvements in radar data accuracy which will be sustained throughout a range of differing precipitation events. Meischner, P. 2004)
Brief History on the use of Robots in surgery.
In 1985 a robot, The PUMA 560, was used to place a needle for a brain biopsy using CT guidance. Three years later the same machine was used to perform a transurethral resection.
• In 1987 robotics was used in the first Laparoscopic surgery, a cholescystecotomy.
• In 1988, The PROBOT, developed at Imperial College London, was used to perform prostatic surgery.
• The ROBODOC from Integrated Surgical Systems was introduced in 1992 to mill out precise fittings in the femur for hip replacement.
• Further development of robotic systems was carried out by Computer Motion with the AESOP and ZEUS Robotic Surgical Systems and Intuitive Surgical with the introduction of The da Vinci Surgical System. (Cohen,b).
How Robots enhance Productivity.
The goal of using robots in medicine is to provide improved diagnostic abilities, a less invasive and more comfortable experience for the patient, and the ability to do smaller and more precise interventions. Robots are currently used not just for prostate surgery, but for hysterectomies, the removal of fibroids, joint replacements, open-heart surgery and kidney surgeries. They can be used along with MRIs to provide organ biopsies. Since the physician can see images of the patient and control the robot through a computer, he/she does not need to be in the room, or even at the same location as the patient.This means that a specialist can operate on a patient who is very far away without either of them having to travel. It can also provide a better work environment for the physician by reducing strain and fatigue. Surgeries that last for hours can cause even the best surgeons to experience hand fatigue and tremors, whereas robots are much steadier and smoother.
Along with improved patient care, another aim of making medical robotics mainstream is to cut down on medical costs. However, this is not always the case. Some robotic surgery systems cost more than $1 million to purchase and $100,000 a year or more to maintain.
This means that hospitals must evaluate the cost of the machine vs. the cost of traditional care. If robotic surgery cuts down on the trauma and healing time, there is money saved in terms of the number of days the patient stays in the hospital. There is also a reduction in the amount of personnel needed in the operating room during surgery. (Cohen,b).
Future Prospects For Robots in surgery.
Medical robotics is still a very new idea, and there is much more work to be done. It is still very expensive, which can make it prohibitive for many hospitals and health-care centers.
There are also still issues with latency. This refers to the time lapse between the moments when the physician moves the controls and when the robot responds. Also, there is still a chance for human error if the physician incorrectly programs the robot prior to surgery. Computer programs cannot change course during surgery, whereas a human surgeon can make needed adjustments. As surgeons become more familiar with using robots for surgery, and as more companies provide medical robots, there will come a day when robots are used in almost every hospital. However, this is still far off in the future. (Cohen,b).
How Pacemakers are used.
Natural heartbeats are caused by electrical impulses that ripple through cardiac cells, causing the cells to contract and push blood through the heart and around the body the device is programmed to emit a steady stream of impulses directly into the patient's cardiac cells.(Mayo Clinic Staff.nd). A pacemaker is implanted just below the collarbone in a procedure that takes about two hours. It is programmed to stimulate the heart at a pre-determined rate, and settings can be adjusted at any time. Routine evaluation, sometimes even via telephone, ensures the pacemaker is working properly and monitors battery life, which generally runs from five to ten years.
Pacemakers are used to treat arrhythmias. Arrhythmias are problems with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. During an arrhythmia, the heart can beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm. A heartbeat that's too fast is called tachycardia. A heartbeat that's too slow is called bradycardia. During an arrhythmia, the heart may not be able to pump enough blood to the body. This can cause symptoms such as fatigue (tiredness), shortness of breath, or fainting. Severe arrhythmias can damage the body's vital organs and may even cause loss of consciousness or death.
How Pacemakers enhances Productivity.
• Speed up a slow heart rhythm.
• Help control an abnormal or fast heart rhythm.
• Make sure the ventricles contract normally if the atria are quivering instead of beating with a normal rhythm (a condition called atrial fibrillation).
• Coordinate electrical signaling between the upper and lower chambers of the heart.
• Coordinate electrical signaling between the ventricles. Pacemakers that do this are called cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) devices. CRT devices are used to treat heart failure.
• Prevent dangerous arrhythmias caused by a disorder called long QT syndrome.(US department of health and human services).
Future Prospects for Pacemakers.
Even though Pacemakers are very efficient at the moment,some scientist are doing research to see if they can treat heart problems without using an instrument in the body. So researchers from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, USA decided to see if they could invent a non-invasive way to control the heart.
These scientists have decided to experiment using a fruit fly. The genome of a fruit fly is 80% identical to that of a human and they are often used in medical research, so the researchers bred a strain of fruit flies that had been genetically altered so that their cardiac cells contained a light-sensitive protein that comes from algae. When the laser beam was directed at the fly's heart, it stimulated the cardiac cells that contained the protein so that the fly's heartbeat 10 times per second, in exact synchronicity with the laser beam pulses. Unfortunately, while the method works with fruit flies as they are tiny enough to have their hearts stimulated in all stages of their life, from larva up to adult; it is nowhere near as successful with other creatures.(Russon,2015).
Other researchers have previously used optical pacemakers to stimulate the hearts of zebra fish, but the laser only worked when the fish were early on in their development stage. When the fish became adults, the laser beam was not able to reach their hearts through the tissue.
Experiments with mice were only possible when scientists first operated on them to make a hole in the chest wall that they could shine the laser beam through to reach the heart, and this procedure could only be performed once, Chao Zhou, an Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at Lehigh University. In theory he said that it would be possible to use near-infra-red light to penetrate the human body in order to access the cardiac cells, and it would be possible to augment those cells with a protein to make them respond to near-infra-red light. However, at the moment, near-infra-red light scatters in the body when it touches it, so in order for non-invasive optical pacemakers for humans to be possible, scientists will need to first figure out how to focus near-infra-red light into a beam that can be directed at the heart.(Russon,2015).
Cohen.B. Robotic Surgery. Retrieved from http://allaboutroboticsurgery.com/.html.
Mayoclinic staff.pacemakerdefinition.retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/pacemaker/basics/definition.
Meischner, P. (2004). Futre prospects. Retrieved October 19, 2015, from Weather radar:principles and advanced applications: https://books.google.com.jm/books.
Raytheon .Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System . (2015). Retrieved October 19, 2015, from: http://www.raytheon.com/capabilities/products/awips/
Using Computers is Critical to our Operations. (n.d). Retrieved October 17, 2015, from Operations: http://pajk.arh.noaa.gov/OurOffice/VTOps.html
Russon.M. Pacemakers.retrieved from http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/scientists-use-laser-pacemaker-heart-fly.
Schotz, S. (2010). Awips II extended . Retrieved October 19, 2015, from Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System : http://www.nws.noaa.gov
US department of health and human services.(2012). Pacemaker. Retrieved from http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/pace/howdoes
Weather radar. (2015). Retrieved 19 October, 2015, from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weather_radar
The basics of weather radar . (n,d). Retrieved October 19, 2015, from Radar and satellite:
The use of information technology in the field of science.
(Mel Nathan College)
International University of the Caribbean
Lecturer: Mr. Claude Simpson