Advanced Aviation Weather Technologies: Keeping Us Safe in the Sky

An airplane being deiced
Apr. 16, 2016

4:00 – 5:30 pm MDT


To keep flights safe, it's essential to give pilots and air traffic controllers accurate weather information. In this presentation Bruce Carmichael will discuss aviation technologies that NSF NCAR is working on that are keeping us safe in the sky. He will talk about how aviators deal with such hazards as thunderstorms, turbulence, icing, and winter weather. As the science and technology to detect and forecast these hazards improves, we are able to remain safe while being more efficient through the use of airspace that might previously have been avoided. Higher resolution, more accurate weather information allows us to avoid hazards without making as wide a berth of the events. From this we can maintain safety margins, save fuel, emit less greenhouse gas, and better utilize the precious capacity of our airports and airspace.

Bruce Carmichael

Research Applications Laboratory, NSF NCAR

Bruce Carmichael serves as program director of the Aviation Applications Program at NSF NCAR. This program is working to improve weather information for pilots, dispatchers, and controllers, particularly related to the hazards of thunderstorms, turbulence, icing, winter weather, and ceiling/visibility. He has also been involved in system engineering of improved FAA automation and weather systems. For the past 32 years he has been involved with the aviation industry in automation of maintenance processes, air traffic control, and weather information. His professional life includes 43 years of experience spanning a number of activities including university teaching, commercial research, government service, consulting, and academic research.   

He has served on the JPDO Weather IPT as the co-lead of the Forecasting Group, the FAA Research, Engineering, and Development Advisory Committee ATM/Weather Integration Study Group, and currently serves as chairman of the NBAA Weather Committee and a member of the RTCA Task Force on Midterm NextGen Implementation. For the past 11 years he has coordinated the Friends/Partners in Aviation Weather activity, a grass roots government/industry group which brings together the weather provider community and diverse user community to discuss topics of common interest. He holds a B.S. from the University of New Mexico in mathematics, an M.S. from Northwestern University in applied mathematics and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in computer science. Carmichael is also an active commercial instrument-rated pilot with over 34 years of flight experience.

Recorded Lecture