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
Applying scientific rigor to understand and predict atmospheric processes that generate weather hazards to aviation.
- Summer & Winter Storms
- Wind & Wind Shear
- Ceiling & Visibility
- Volcanic Ash & Space Weather
- Climate Change
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
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
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
Our broad scientific and technical expertise builds on many enabling capabilities.
- Data Services
- Numerical Weather Prediction
- Turnkey Systems
- Consulting, Training & Outreach