Aviation Weather

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Weather plays a major part in the current Air Traffic Management (ATM) modernization process, led by Eurocontrol in Europe and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) at an international level.

Leosphere provides highly accurate wind and aerosol Lidars that perform real time measurements adapted to the airport environment. All the company’s knowledge and measurement capabilities are gathered in this field, where the sensors provide critical information in an effort to ensure safe take offs and landings and improve ATM efficiency.

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Wind shear : the n°1 threat in aviation weather

Wind shear can be described as a sudden change in wind speed and/or direction that causes the plane to deviate from its intended flight path.

According to ICAO, wind shear phenomena have caused over 1400 deaths in aviation. The great unpredictability of this phenomenon, along with the danger associated, is also responsible for significant disruption of air traffic management, which has a great business impact on airport operations.

The final approach and initial take off paths are statistically the most dangerous flight phases because the plane’s closeness to the ground and the time constraints make it very difficult to avoid the threat without a proper measurement and alerting system.

Lidar technology is of particular interest for wind shear monitoring as it is one of the best technologies for detecting dry weather wind shear, which are invisible to pilots and air traffic controllers, and therefore particularly hazardous. In combination with a Doppler Radar, that performs best in rainy conditions, the Windcube 400S-AT provides an all-weather 3D wind shear monitoring solution.

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Wake turbulence : a major concern in air traffic management

Research studies are ongoing in order to optimize the current plane separation rules which are deemed very conservative.

Scanning Windcubes have been involved in the SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) campaigns in Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to measure wake turbulence.

This data will feed research models and help refine separation rules according to the leader and follower plane characteristics.

In an effort to modernize ATM worldwide, and increase use of meteorological data in decision making processes, research is also planned to take into consideration real time wind information and create dynamic plane separation rules.