Aviation Weather

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 a broader international level. Leosphere provides highly accurate wind and aerosol Lidars that perform real-time measurements adapted to the airport environment. All our knowledge and measurement capabilities come together to serve this field. Our sensors provide critical information to help ensure safe take offs and landings and improve overall ATM efficiency.

Wind shear

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

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

The final approach and initial take-off paths are statistically the most dangerous flight phases, because time constraints and the plane’s closeness to the ground 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 is invisible to pilots and air traffic controllers, and is therefore particularly hazardous. In combination with a Doppler Radar, which performs best in rainy conditions, the Windcube 400S-AT completes an all-weather 3D wind shear monitoring solution.

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Wake Turbulence

Wake turbulence is a major concern in air traffic management. Research studies are currently under way in a bid to optimize existing plane separation rules, which are deemed by some to be 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 gauge real-time wind information so as to create dynamic plane separation rules.

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