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Analysing the atmosphere – lidar technology improves safety in air transport

After the eruption of the Icelandic Eyjafjallajökull volcano in April 2010, a cloud of fine-grained ash particles spread quickly towards central Europe. Large segments of the airspace were closed by the authorities because the engines of aircraft flying through ash clouds had been repeatedly damaged on previous occasions. Using lidar technology, scientists of the DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics helped to re-define safety thresholds in aviation so that more far-ranging airspace closures could be avoided.


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