Aviation Applications Program

 How NCAR is Tackling This Challenge

How NCAR is Tackling This Challenge

Article on Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) Research

The Future of Drone Delivery Hinges on Predicting the Weather Block by Block

drone over city with winds

RAL partners with NASA's University Leadership Initiative

drone over city with winds

RAL partners with NASA's University Leadership Initiative

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Weather Technologies for the Global Aviation System

Providing advanced weather technologies to support aviation and space operations
Aviation weather provided the starting point for RAL's research work. Within the aviation application area, our current research emphases are: in–flight icing; snowfall and freezing precipitation; convective storm nowcasting and forecasting; atmospheric turbulence; numerical weather prediction; remote sensing; data assimilation; precipitation physics; ceiling and visibility; oceanic weather; verification methods; and advanced dissemination technology to users on the ground and in the air. Development of useful aviation applications requires a strong connection between our work and the needs of aviators. End–user requirements are considered at each step along the development path. Our work tends to be heavily oriented toward real–time operational systems and this focus leads to an emphasis on algorithm development, specialized graphical displays, systems engineering, operational demonstrations, and the associated scientific validations and user–oriented evaluations.

Benefits + Impacts

Read how we have met meteorological challenges with creative, practical solutions, and measurable benefits.

AAP Solutions

Descending air curls outward and upward as it slams into the ground in a microburst near Denver's former Stapleton International Airport on July 6, 1984, during the CLAWS project. (Photo by Wendy Schreiber-Abshire, ©UCAR. This image is freely available for media & nonprofit use.)
How the Jumbo Outbreak of 1974 helped lead to safer air travel

It takes a sharp eye to find something positive in the wreckage of the worst swarm of U.S. tornadoes on record. Ted Fujita had just such... more

HEMS graphically displays obscuration of visibility in areas and the resulting flight categories. Photo courtesy Air Methods
Air Ambulance Pilots Rely on Weather Tool to Make Life-saving Decisions

It’s rush hour. The bumper-to-bumper traffic is creeping on a foggy, drizzly day. A horrific car accident has left a person... more

How investigating the atmosphere is improving our lives

April 27, 2012  •  There hasn’t been a single U.S. airline flight downed by wind shear in more than 15 years. That’s no accident. It’s... more