THE ROLE OF NEXRAD IN AIRCRAFT NAVIGATION AND FLIGHT SAFETY ENHANCEMENT

P. R. Mahapatra and J. T. Lee

Abstract: The next generation weather radar system (NEXRAD) is expected to be an important element in the improved air traffic control plan being currently shaped by the Federal Aviation Administration. This paper assesses the probable impact of the proposed NEXRAD system on flight safety as well as on air traffic control. Weather hazards to aviation are reviewed. The problems specific to flight in terminal and enroute areas are outlined. Aircraft are susceptible to weather hazards at all altitudes, but are particularly vulnerable during low-level flight. The NEXRAD, by virtue of its coherent or Doppler processing capability, is expected to detect low-altitude wind shear, which poses a serious hazard during landing and takeoff. It can also provide quantitative estimates of precipitation activity and turbulence levels. This information, together with hailstorm warning, will be helpful at all flight altitudes. NEXRAD, being a multiservice system, involves considerable design compromises. The characteristics that are desirable from an aviation point of view are discussed in the paper.
Published in: NAVIGATION, Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 31, Number 1
Pages: 21 - 37
Cite this article: Mahapatra, P. R., Lee, J. T., "THE ROLE OF NEXRAD IN AIRCRAFT NAVIGATION AND FLIGHT SAFETY ENHANCEMENT", NAVIGATION, Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 31, No. 1, Spring 1984, pp. 21-37.
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