Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA Technology Helps Smooth Bumpy Airline Rides

Date:
July 21, 2005
Source:
NASA/Langley Research Center
Summary:
Most airline passengers and flight crews have one thing in common: they don't like turbulence. Researchers at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and AeroTech Research (USA), Inc., Newport News, Va., have developed an automatic turbulence reporting system.

Most airline passengers and flight crews have one thing in common: they don't like turbulence. Researchers at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and AeroTech Research (USA), Inc., Newport News, Va., have developed an automatic turbulence reporting system.

The Turbulence Auto-PIREP System (TAPS) is being tested on more than 80 Delta Airlines passenger jets. Researchers say TAPS technology improves aviation safety. When pilots know there's turbulence ahead, they can maneuver to avoid it or ensure passengers and flight attendants are seated and strapped in.

"TAPS automatically broadcasts turbulence encounter reports from aircraft and allows other planes and people on the ground to use this information," said NASA's Turbulence Prediction and Warning Systems project manager, Jim Watson. "Pilots describe turbulence encounters over their radios and by text reports called Pilot Reports (PIREPS). They tend to under-report when they encounter rough air, because they're busy trying to fly through or around it," he added.

"TAPS provides real-time turbulence information that has never been available," said Paul Robinson, President of AeroTech Research. "The beauty of TAPS is, it is only software and uses equipment already on the aircraft, making it inexpensive and easy to install."

Atmospheric turbulence is the leading cause of injuries to passengers and flight crews in non-fatal airline accidents. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) statistics show an average of 58 airline passengers are annually hurt in U.S. turbulence incidents. Ninety eight percent of those injuries happen because people don't have their seat belts fastened.

Turbulence encounters are hazardous, and they cost airlines money and time. The encounters cause injuries, flight re-routing, late arrivals, additional inspections and aircraft maintenance.

Delta Air Lines and ARINC, Annapolis, Md., have teamed with NASA and AeroTech Research to evaluate TAPS. Since August 2004, the TAPS software has been flying on more than 85 Delta Boeing 737-800, 767-300 and 767-400 aircraft.

TAPS' automatic, accurate and timely reporting of turbulence encounters is almost immediately displayed on computers on the ground and received in the cockpits of other aircraft. The system's processing of encounters takes into account how various aircraft respond to turbulence. TAPS allows pilots to see the reports for the area ahead of their aircraft; controllers to see reports relative to air traffic and airline personnel to evaluate the impact on their operations; all in real-time.

"From an airline standpoint, we see tremendous benefit from TAPS in identifying areas of turbulence," said Bill Watts, the turbulence program manager for Delta Air Lines. "In addition to its obvious safety benefits, the system may potentially identify areas of airspace that would otherwise be blocked from traffic because of the inadequate turbulence detection tools that we possess today. TAPS gives us some much needed hard data that can help us make better operational decisions."

The turbulence research was funded by the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate's Aviation Safety and Security Program in partnership with the FAA, aircraft manufacturers, airlines and the Department of Homeland Security.

For information about NASA's Aviation Safety and Security Program on the Web, visit:

http://avsp.larc.nasa.gov


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Langley Research Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Langley Research Center. "NASA Technology Helps Smooth Bumpy Airline Rides." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050721061307.htm>.
NASA/Langley Research Center. (2005, July 21). NASA Technology Helps Smooth Bumpy Airline Rides. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050721061307.htm
NASA/Langley Research Center. "NASA Technology Helps Smooth Bumpy Airline Rides." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050721061307.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins