13th Conference on Applied Climatology and the 10th Conference on Aviation, Range, and Aerospace Meteorology

Wednesday, 15 May 2002: 10:30 AM
Evaluation of an airborne radar turbulence detection algorithm
Larry B. Cornman, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and S. Gerding, G. Meymaris, and J. Williams
Poster PDF (138.4 kB)
Encounters with convective turbulence continue to be a key factor in commercial transport accidents. Providing accurate short-term forecasts of these turbulence events is not yet a reality; hence, the ability to detect and warn pilots of an impending encounter is important. Many commercial transport aircraft are currently outfitted with a predictive windshear radar system. Therefore, as part of NASA's Aviation Safety Program, the development of real-time detection algorithms that can provide timely and accurate warnings of convective turbulence has been given a high priority. In the near-term, only software modifications to the existing radar systems will be implemented and NASA is working with the radar manufacturers, FAA and airlines to expedite the certification of this technology.

As part of the these R&D activities, the National Center for Atmospheric Research has developed new turbulence detection and quality control algorithms for use with airborne radars. A brief description of these algorithms is presented, along with verification results. Two methods are used for the verification; the first employs small-scale atmospheric model data fed into a radar simulator and the second approach uses data recorded from NASA's 757 research aircraft.

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