Earth Observation Mission News
NASA satellite data improving volcanic ash forecasts for aviation safety
25 October 2013
As frequent travellers know, flight delays are all too familiar. Lately, NASA has been looking into a much less frequent, but a potentially very dangerous problem that has recently caused major disruptions in aviation services... volcanic eruptions.
Explosive volcanic eruptions produce ash, or tiny, hard, jagged particles that can be blown thousands of miles away from their source. Volcanic ash is quite dangerous to airplanes, grounding and diverting flights with a huge economic impact to travellers and citizens who rely on goods and services delivered by aircraft.
In a recent study, researchers are using NASA 3D satellite data to improve forecasts of volcanic ash plumes to benefit aviation.