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?