18 NOVEMBER 2013


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Article from BTNews 18 NOVEMBER 2013

Ash detection continues

Subsequent to  a series of collaborative tests following the Eyjafjallajokul crisis in April and May 2010, easyJet, Airbus and Nicarnica Aviation have successfully created the first ever significant artificial ash cloud for experimental test purposes.

Readers may recall that BTN was invited to learn about the project, entitled AVOID, at a briefing held near Mount Etna (Sicily) in November 2011.

Airbus used one of its brand new A400M aircraft to generate the artificial ash cloud over the bay of Biscay by releasing a tonne of volcanic ash using an Airbus.  This was backed up by an Airbus A340-300 fitted with the AVOID sensor which successfully identified the ash from distances of 60km as well as accurately measuring its concentration, a unique partnership between military and civil aircraft.
easyJet plans to continue development with a view to mounting stand-alone units on some of its current fleet of aircraft by the end of 2014 thereby providing a solution which would mean we should not encounter the widespread air space closures of 2010 again.

The experiment also used a small aircraft, a Diamond DA42 from Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences, to fly into the ash cloud to take measurements which help to corroborate the measurements made by the AVOID system.

www.easyjet.com  www.airbus.com  www.nicarnicaaviation.com

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