Significant convection presents imminent threats to in-flight aircraft for the associated hazards of lightning, turbulence, icing, rain and hail, etc. Limited by the range and coverage of on-board weather radar, pilots may not have a complete picture of the distribution and short-term evolution of convective systems within their intended flight path. The product shown here uses multiple channels, high resolution meteorological satellite data and real-time global lightning data to automatically identify and nowcast the hazardous areas of significant convection for aircraft's avoidance. More details of the satellite-based algorithm can be found in the paper: Development of Satellite Reflectivity Retrieval Technique for Tropical Cyclone Rainfall Nowcasting.
Real-time ICI (Ice Crystal Icing)
At the core of deep convection, small ice crystals may be thrown upward by the strong updrafts to very high altitude. As aircraft passing through regions of dense high altitude ice crystals, which might be undetected by aircraft radar, these small ice crystals may form a thin ice layer on the engine blades and cause the engine to lose power. This phenomenon is known as ice crystal icing (ICI) or engine icing. The product shown here uses multiple channel, high resolution meteorological satellite data to automatically detect and nowcast the hazardous areas which may have high potential of ICI for aircraft's avoidance.
Please refer to HKO News Bulletin for the Aviation Community http://www.weather.gov.hk/aviat/outreach/1024index038.htm for more details.
ATNS (Aviation Thunderstorm Nowcasting System)
ATNS is a nowcasting system tailored for aviation. It provides forecast of radar echoes at 6 minute time steps for the next 1 hour, and it is updated rapidly at 6 minutes. It will also highlight when a significant part of the air space is being or is expected to be affected by convection. The design goal of the system is to assist with the tactical decision making for ATC.
The ATNS frontend built by modern WEB and GIS technology
ATLAS (Airport Thunderstorm and Lightning Alerting System)
The Airport Thunderstorm and Lightning Alerting System (ATLAS) is developed to support the Red and Amber lightning alerts at Hong Kong International Airport (ICAO code: VHHH). It has proved to be an improvement over the earlier system and contributed towards minimising the risk of lightning to ground staff when working under these conditions. Tracking the movement of radar echoes and lightning activities, the system forecasts the time when lightning is expected to affect the airport.
Lightning alerts from ATLAS at 15:41 on 2017/04/21 (HKT)