Avoid turbulence by consulting the stars

Can’t recall a more imaginative way of detecting turbulence than this one, which suggests using astronomical observations to pinpoint areas of rough air.

The patent document, which lists Boeing as an applicant, describes a method of capturing images of celestial features – lunar craters, sunspots, or stars – using cameras mounted on a platform, such as a ship or a building.

These images would be compared to one another to check for distortion caused by atmospheric refraction, evidence of high-altitude turbulence. The data, uplinked to meteorological stations, would then be relayed to aircraft in the vicinity.

All very well until the cloud rolls in, of course. Then what?

turb.JPG

Leave a Reply