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Kathy Barnstorff
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
Office: 757 864-9886/Cellular: 757 344-8511
Email: k.a.barnstorff@larc.nasa.gov

Katherine Martin
Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio
Office: 216 433-2406
Email: Katherine.K.Martin@grc.nasa.gov

RELEASE NO. 02-085

For Release:   November 13, 2002
 

NOTE TO EDITORS:
NASA to review weather projects designed to improve aviation safety

Useful information, not just data … that’s the key to designing cockpit weather display systems that will help pilots avoid bad weather, so say NASA researchers who are developing technology to improve aviation safety.

NASA engineers and their industry partners will report on progress they’ve made in advancing aviation weather technology at the third annual Weather Accident Prevention (WxAP) Project Review Nov. 20-21 at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, MA. The review and WxAP project are led by NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

Both are part of the NASA Aviation Safety Program, managed by NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. NASA is working with industry, universities and other government agencies to reduce the fatal aircraft accident rate by 80 percent in the next five years.

Crucial to preventing accidents and reducing air traffic delays is better weather information. According to Federal Aviation Administration statistics … weather is a contributing factor in about one-third of all aviation accidents. But providing up-to-date moving electronic maps and sensors that can alert pilots to hazardous weather and turbulence in a plane moving hundreds of miles an hour at 30,000 feet is a challenge.

To help tackle that challenge NASA is developing technologies for commercial airliners and smaller private planes, including:

  • cockpit weather information systems
  • weather datalink communications systems
  • automated airborne weather reporting systems
  • turbulence hazard scale
  • airborne turbulence sensing, warning and alerting systems

Researchers at four NASA field installations are working in the Aviation Safety Program to design advanced, affordable systems to make flying safer: Langley; Glenn; Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif.; Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif.

For more information on the third annual Weather Accident Prevention Project review please check the Internet at: http://www.grc.nasa.gov/www/avsp/

For more information on the NASA Aviation Safety Program please go to http://avsp.larc.nasa.gov.

Reporters interested in attending the review should call Kathy Barnstorff in advance to gain entry, because the MIT Lincoln Laboratory is a secure government facility.

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