Aviation safety has improved dramatically since RAL’s discovery of low-level wind shear, once responsible for hundreds of airplane fatalities. Our research engineered ways to detect and convey this hazardous phenomenon, as well as develop training materials instructing pilots when to steer clear. But our aviation safety work wasn’t finished. Further research found ways to discern and address other hazards that threaten aviation safety. Diagnosing and predicting turbulence, icing, visibility, and thunderstorms give air traffic controllers and airlines valuable planning windows, as well as the decision-making tools to avoid these hazards.

Focus Areas of Research

Jet airplane landing at twilight

Weather Expertise

Applying scientific rigor to understand and predict atmospheric processes that generate weather hazards to aviation.

Storm Front with Airplane

Operational Weather Sensitivities

Assessing weather sensitivities of flight operations through stakeholder engagement to collaboratively determine needs and requirements for enhanced weather guidance.

  • Commercial, Business, & General Aviation
  • Uncrewed Aerial Systems & Urban Air Mobility
  • Space Launch & Travel
Airplanes taking off and landing at Laguardia airport in New York

Actionable Weather Guidance

Developing weather and associated impact guidance to support operational decisions under uncertainty.

  • Airports, Heliports & Vertiports, etc.
  • En Route – Troposphere
  • Low Altitude – Atmospheric Boundary Layer
  • High Altitude – Stratosphere
Beautiful aerial cityscape view of the city of Leiden, the Netherlands, after sunset at night in the blue hour

Benefits Assessment

Science Serving Society requires in-depth evaluation of the weather impact guidance accuracy as well as the actions undertaken based on utilizing that guidance.

  • Weather Prediction Accuracy
  • Impact Prediction Accuracy
  • Decision Making Effectiveness
Cloudscape image of dark stormy clouds in clear blue sky with sunbeam

Foundational Capabilities

Our broad scientific and technical expertise builds on many enabling capabilities.

  • Data Services
  • Visualization
  • Numerical Weather Prediction
  • Algorithms
  • Turnkey Systems
  • Consulting, Training & Outreach


Please direct questions/comments about this page to:

Matthias Steiner

Director, Aviation Applications Program