Page 18 - ATC Special Bulletin Series - Meteorology 2022-01
P. 18

Bad weather is not just a nuisance for air traffic, it can also be hazardous. “Serious damage can be caused to aircraft if smoke, dust or even sea salt are ingested by engines, due to both the erosion and corrosion they cause, and possible obstructions, or because they affect in-flight combustion,” explains Manuel Soler, ALARM project coordinator. “Volcanic ash and gasses, such as sulphur dioxide, are also important hazards, causing abrasions to windscreens, corrosion to engines, and different damage to aircraft systems and instruments, while electromagnetic radiation from the sun can interfere with aircraft communication systems,” he adds.
The ALARM project developed a system that monitors and gives early warnings about natural events that pose a risk to aviation, but also considers the environmental impact of these events as a further hazard. The early warning system prototype can be integrated into ATM systems as an application programming interface (API) providing nowcasting (up to 2 hours) and short- term forecasting (up to 6 hours) of SO2 plumes at a regional scale and of severe thunderstorms at a local scale (airport). It also provides forecasting and medium-term forecasting (up to 48 hours) of climatic hotspots at a European scale. The requirements of all these products have been included in the system-wide information management (SWIM) yellow profile to facilitate data exchange.

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