Improved thunderstorm weather information for pilots through ground and satellite based observing systems

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Monday, 18 January 2010: 4:00 PM
B314 (GWCC)
Arnold Tafferner, DLR - Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Wessling, Germany; and C. Forster, T. Hauf, and R. W. Lunnon

Presentation PDF (1.1 MB)

Within FLYSAFE, a European Commission funded project running from 2005 to 2009, a ground based thunderstorm weather information and management system has been developed which uses remote sensing information from radar, satellite and lightning detection systems. It has successfully been employed and demonstrated during flight trials carried out in summer 2009 over Central Europe. The aim of the paper is to demonstrate that the information provided by such a system could help pilots in gaining a better overview of the weather situation as compared to what can be provided by nowadays onboard systems. This in turn could help pilots in decision making, e.g. which route to take when passing through a thunderstorm line.

For the study a number of aircraft accidents and incidents related to thunderstorm activity has been selected for testing the usefulness of such a ground based weather information system. In each case forecast thunderstorm positions are compared with actual aircraft positions and tracks where known, also the thunderstorm forecast accuracy is evaluated. In addition, the possible impact of the thunderstorm hazards turbulence, icing and lightning on the aircraft is described in cases where related information is available from sensors. Finally, the possible up-link of the ground-based weather information to the cockpit is addressed by referring to the experience gained from the FLYSAFE project.