Outstanding Publication Award

Larry Cornman, Gary Cunning, and Corinne Morse (RAL)

This paper presents a new concept for automated, quantitative measurements of atmospheric turbulence: the use of commercial aircraft as turbulence-sensing platforms whose data can be assembled and processed in real time at a ground site. The vertical accelerations of an aircraft, routinely measured in flight, can be used to infer the turbulent forces producing up-and-down motions. By adopting simplifications to this highly complex mathematical and physical problem, the authors produced an algorithm that can be easily implemented on any aircraft. The technique is being deployed on over 200 United Airlines aircraft in the next few months. Along with its potential for real-time detection and warning, the algorithm also promises to give scientists a wealth of data for research on the structure of atmospheric turbulence.

Cornman, L. B., C. S. Morse, and G. M. Cunning, 1995: Real-time estimation of atmospheric turbulence severity from in-situ aircraft measurements. Journal of Aircraft, 32, 171-177