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?


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