12th Conference on Aviation Range and Aerospace Meteorology


Demonstration of the use of Runway Visual Range (RVR) visibility sensors for estimating snowfall rates throughout the airport domain

Thomas A. Seliga, Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, Cambridge, MA; and D. A. Hazen and S. Burnley

Efficient management of aircraft on the airport during snowfall events requires knowledge of equivalent water snowfall rates at all times over all possible tracks of aircraft on the surface. A fundamental requirement is knowledge of the amount of equivalent liquid water content of snowfall that aircraft experience during their transit on the airport surface, often experiencing inhomogeneous, variable conditions. This paper demonstrates the potential of using RVR sensors as a means of estimating snowfall rate over the entire airport domain. The process includes: co-locating a snowgage with an RVR sensor, comparing snowgage measurements to extinction coefficient measurements at that same site to determine the calibration factor for transforming extinction coefficients to snowfall rates, using this calibration factor to compute snowfall rates at all RVR sensor locations and then extrapolating these snowfall rates over the entire airport domain. When used in conjunction with surface surveillance systems such as ASDE-3 and ASDE-X, the RVR-based snowfall rates should enable effective tracking of each aircraft's snowfall-dependent icing status. The resulting product should prove useful for managing deicing operations and ensuring safe operation of aircraft under all types of snowfall conditions.

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Poster Session 3, Ceiling and VisibilityŚWinter Weather Posters
Tuesday, 31 January 2006, 9:45 AM-9:45 AM, A301

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