accomplished at remote PC terminals or workstations
(such as MIDDS) using conventional telephone lines.
OPARS requests may also be submitted via the Internet
OPARS Data Base: Consists of aircraft
performance characteristics, route structure, and
restricted area information required for the satisfactory
performance of the OPARS program. The OPARS data
base comes preloaded with each OPARS release. Keep
in mind that updates to this data base are issued by
FNMOC every 28 days and can be downloaded from the
Flight Planner/Environmental Data Base: The
computer system at FNMOC produces a flight plan for
the optimum route and performance parameters for
each aircraft. Wind and temperature fields for flight
level winds are produced twice daily and are derived
from the FNMOC Naval Operational Global
Atmospheric Prediction System (NOGAPS) forecast
model. Wind and temperature data is available from
1,000 feet to 55,000 feet.
OPARS FLIGHT PLAN
The OPARS user is the individual interacting
through a personal computer linked with the computer
system at FNMOC. The OPARS user builds a flight
plan request at the terminal and submits the flight plan
request to the FNMOC computer for processing. The
latest version of the system, OPARS 2.12, can run from
any PC workstation, but is normally installed on
MIDDS. This program operates using a Windows-
based software program with a graphical interface. It
allows users to build and error-check their flight plan
request on their PC before submitting the job to
FNMOC. OPARS 2.0 and later versions contain a built-
in communication capability that can automatically
access and log into FNMOC via commercial telephone,
DSN, STU-III secure telephone, and INTERNET/
Nearly every weather office accepts OPARS
requests either over-the-counter or by telephone. Many
individual military pilots are frequent users of OPARS,
and these pilots may prefer to enter their own OPARS
requests. However, most pilots prefer to have the base
weather personnel process OPARS requests. The
observer normally uses a locally prepared form to
ensure that the necessary information is obtained, and
then enters the information into the OPARS program.
Each request must include information such as aircraft
type, point of departure, time of departure, point of
arrival, number of different flight routes (legs), fuel
weight, and air-routing type. After processing at
FNMOC, the information is formatted into a flight plan
and transmitted back to the office.
The OPARS program works with the Windows NT
operating system or Windows 95. Users select the flight
plan parameters by clicking on a series of menus. The
program provides "help" menus that explain individual
elements. A jet-route data base is included with the
software and lets users visually work out air routes on
their PC. Once selected, an air route can be saved for
future use. These commonly used air routes are known
as canned routes. Flight requests can also be saved
and made available at a future time.
Once users obtain a flight plan from FNMOC, they
can display it in many different formats, as a variety of
tools are available to customize and enhance the
display. Wind fields, navigational aids (navaids), and
other features may be overlaid on any flight route. The
flight plan is then downloaded to a printer and delivered
to the pilot. Figure 2-6 is an example of just one of
several OPARS input screens.
The Optimum Path Aircraft Routing System Users
Manual, FLENUMETOCCEN P-3710, provides
detailed information for processing OPARS flight
plans. This manual is published by FNMOC and is
provided with MIDDS. It can also be downloaded from
the FNMOC website. Information on how to interpret
the different flight plan formats can also be found on the
What is the primary purpose of OPARS?
Q24. Where is the OPARS data base located?
What publication provides detailed information
on processing OPARS requests and how can it be
DATA REQUEST PRODUCT
LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Identify how Data
Request Products (DRPs) are obtained.
Describe the various products that are available
from the Data Request Product (DRP) system.
Identify the publications that provide guidance
on DRP products.