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Open source at Vortex

Vortex uses 99.9% open source as it has proven to be the best path to take at each junction along the way.

When we first started calculating wind data back in 2005, we had to choose a mesoscale weather forecasting model that could make our mission possible. Our expertise brought us to the Weather and Research Forecast (WRF) model, which is a model that is widely accepted by the scientific community. Many companies and institutes have adopted WRF as the primary model for their weather simulations.

WRF is an open-source model, which many experts have helped enhance through their developments. Vortex has also made some valuable contributions, the most recent being Large Eddy Simulations (LES). WRF has proven to be the most robust software for operational purposes and this is why we continue growing hand-in-hand with this system.

While configuring and testing WRF Simulations, the aim was to integrate it into a cluster. Vortex’s on-demand concept is to run customized simulations based on our clients’ needs, i.e. for the specific areas and time horizons they are interested in. This is why, for us, it was imperative to automate all the simulations, and so we formed a partnership with Debian as our cluster’s operating system. Debian is a well-known light GNU/Linux based operating system, and is also open-source; comparable to other large, popular cloud services such as AWS and Google Cloud.

There are many tools needed to process the wind data generated by WRF, in order to deliver it in the right formats for our clients. To do this, we use open-source software such as Climate Data Operators (CDO) and NCAR Command Language (NCL) for common meteorological and climate formats; bash, custom c++ software and scripting languages for automation and IT management.

Open-source software and tools have shown to be properly maintained and updated by the community. Vortex’s technologies are not constrained by black boxes and do not depend on third parties’ decisions, thus enabling us to focus on new improvements and developments; some of which are fed back into to the open-source community.

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