airborne weather radar

airborne weather radar

airborne weather radarclick for a larger image
Radarscope presentation of airborne weather radar.
A primary radar designed to locate turbulent clouds within a wide area ahead of the aircraft to discriminate between safe and potentially turbulent areas in cloud formations. It provides a pictorial representation of turbulent and dangerous clouds located along the flight path and warns the pilot well in advance. The secondary function of the radar is to aid navigation by a map-painting mode and avoidance of high ground. Airborne weather radars operate in the SHF (superhigh frequency) band, whose wavelength lies between 10 cm and 3 cm (3.93 in and 1.81 in).
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
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To size up a storm, pilots should always use visual cues and a combination of airborne weather radar, Nexrad imagery, a sferic (lightning detection) device, and tools like Convective Sigmets and Center Weather Advisories.
(2016) Method for Detecting and Simulating 3D Turbulence Field of Airborne Weather Radar. Systems Engineering & Electronics, 38, 293-297.
The common X-band radar operates around 10,000 MHz (10 GHz) and is used for precision approach radar and your everyday airborne weather radar. To get the wavelength, divide the speed of light (approximately 3 x 108 meters per second) by the radar's frequency.
MultiScan ThreatTrack weather radar is the first fully certified airborne weather radar with the following capabilities for new Next-Generation Boeing 737s: - Patented Track-While-Scan Technology prioritizes weather threats out to 320 nm by performing dedicated horizontal and vertical scans on developed or fast-growing convective cells that pose an actual threat.
The selection includes Rockwell Collins' MultiScan Threat Detection System, which is a fully automatic airborne weather radar system that combines the latest weather science with advanced engineering concepts to identify and analyse thunderstorm cells, and display the weather threat.
Atlas was one of the early inventors of the airborne weather radar, now standard equipment on all commercial and military aircraft.
The classic texts also advise us to avoid trying to fly in areas with more than 60 percent coverage of thunderstorm cells, even if we have airborne weather radar. We need to heed the warnings of those who flew before us.
If such equipment (e.g., airborne weather radar) malfunctions and in the pilot's judgment either safety or IFR capabilities are affected, reports should be made as above."
I do not think that I will be using airborne weather radar any day soon, but the more you know in aviation the better.
Equipment like airborne weather radar, approved de- or anti-icing and two powerful engines translates into an almost-all-weather airplane.

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