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Cloud has a silver lining for airlines

Posted 17 November 2013 · 1 Comment

Airbus, EasyJet and Nicarnica Aviation have created an artificial ash cloud over the Bay of Biscay, similar to the type that disrupted air traffic in the Eyjafjallajokul ash crisis of April and May 2010.

Airbus, EasyJet and Nicarnica Aviation have created an artificial ash cloud over the Bay of Biscay, similar to the type that disrupted air traffic in the Eyjafjallajokul ash crisis of April and May 2010.

The companies used the cloud to test a prototype aircraft-mounted sensor – Avoid – that will allow pilots to fly around any dangerous concentrations of ash and help build an accurate map for air traffic controllers.

The concept is similar to current weather radars on commercial airliners.

EasyJet plans to fit some of its fleet with the finished sensor by the end of 2014 to minimise any further air space closures when another volcano erupts, which Magnús Tumi Gudmundsson, from the Institute of Earth Sciences in Iceland, says is highly likely.

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