Re: Detection of clear air turbulence

From:         rickydik@ix.netcom.com (RD Rick)
Organization: Netcom
Date:         16 Jul 96 13:59:52 
References:   1
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In <airliners.1996.1278@ohare.Chicago.COM> craig@pacific.net.sg (Craig
Welch) writes:
>> Clear air turbulence injuries are the fault of airlines,
>>100%.(US airlines). CAT can be detected easily by
>> radar. BUT the airlines have, in the US, lobbied
>> strongly against being required to get such radar.
>> This makes it their fault. IF they had the radar,
>> they could give good enough warning time
>Of course I can't mention the sender's name, but what he says is not
>my impression.
>Can others help clarify this? Are there advances in CAT
>detection/avoidance?

Radar detects things that reflect its signals:  no reflectors, no
echoes.  By its very name, Clear Air Turbulence is undetectable by any
radar.

There are ongoing efforts to detect CAT using IR, etc., that can detect
temperature changes.  The military, with its megabucks, hasn't found a
fix yet.

A pertinent question for Qantas:  what indicated they should turn on
the seatbelt light?  It was probably a Pirep from another airliner that
had been there.  If it were not CAT, but storm-related turbulence, then
they must have detected it with the doppler function on their weather
radar.  That detection works out to 50 nmi. ahead of the a/c, and will
point out turb, even in the lightest of moisture or ice pellets.

Yes, there is doppler radar that does not fry everyone's cajones.  This
one puts out just 125 watts peak power, which is less than 1 watt
average power.  Compare that to your microwave oven..

RD