I was discussing the Wx uplink/downlink & Stormscope debate with my son (see the “Weather Uplink…” thread that began on Fri 8th), when he made a suggestion that I think makes a lot of sense. It involves a logical extension to the http://www.alaska.faa.gov/capstone/Capstone.htm Capstone Project.
We have a lot of airplanes flying around with Air/Data Computers on board (http://www.spirent-systems.com/spirent3/hardwaresolns/airdata/airdata.htmOne example). For the most part, these are not GA aircraft, but that will change. These individual aircraft “know” a lot about the local weather – OAT, Wind direction/speed, barometric pressure.
What if these airplanes were to continuously and automatically transmit this information to a central Wx-info-network, along with their CAPSTONE data? Suddenly, ALL aircraft would have the availability of current, actual winds & temps aloft, etc.; forecasting would be better because of the dramatic increase in number of reporting stations, and everyone would benefit.
A technologically not-very-challenging addition to the Air/Data Computers would be something that could sense and grade turbulence (quantitatively, not the qualitative guess we all take a stab at when we report the quality of “the ride”.) This TME (like DME, but Turbulence Measuring Equipment) would provide data that we don’t have today. Imagine how nice it would be to have current turbulence for your planned route at your intended altitude, depicted on the ARNAV screen!
Has anyone seen this proposed elsewhere? I haven’t! Hmmm… TME… I can feel a patent coming on.