A New Satellite Could Help Planes Bypass Turbulence

Nov 23, 2016

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According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there’s a new weather satellite in the air that could help make weather-related turbulence a thing of the past. The organization said that the satellite is expected to more quickly beam clear images of the “waves” that cause turbulence back to earth, which could result in fewer bumps for those inside the aircraft cabin.

The satellite, which is called Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-R), has already launched, and aircraft (and passengers) should begin to see its benefit as soon as the second half of 2017. GOES-R is said to be the most advanced weather satellite of its kind, and it’s also said to give a better estimate of wind speed, fog, ice and lightning, as well as the ability to pick up on hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, volcanic cloud activity, wildfires, storms and solar flares quicker. In fact, the satellite is said to scan the sky five times faster than its predecessor.

GOES-R, which cost around $1 billion, will help aid aircraft in avoiding the cloud “waves,” which cause turbulence. Within minutes of detecting these waves, the satellite can send feedback, giving pilots more time to react to and plan for inclement weather patterns ahead. The satellite will provide real-time updates — storm regions will update every 30 seconds, the continental US will update every five minutes and the Western Hemisphere will update with current information every 15 minutes. In all, this new technology appears to be a step forward for flyers of all kinds — especially those who are especially afraid of turbulence.

H/T: BBC News

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