04 Feb 2017

Rockwell Collins expands global aircraft observation weather program through new agreement with LATAM Airlines

Rockwell Collins is expanding its successful operational aircraft weather observations program to include weather data from LATAM Airlines’ fleet of aircraft. The agreement is the latest as part of a Rockwell Collins/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) program to improve the accuracy of forecasts for the aviation industry and the general public.

This will mark the first time that weather data from Brazil, Central and South America will be included in the joint program.

“The LATAM aircraft provide a new and rich source of observational data from a region of the globe where we have historically had a gap in coverage for weather observations at higher altitudes in the atmosphere,” said Dr. Curtis Marshall, the program manager for the National Weather Service’s Aircraft-Based Observations Program. “We anticipate that these new data will lead to a notable increase in the skill of our computer-based weather prediction systems and resulting forecasts and warnings that provide for public safety and enhance the nation’s economy.”

Since 1991, Rockwell Collins’ ARINC Meteorological Data Collection and Reporting System (MDCRS) has gathered information such as wind speed, air temperature and turbulence from commercial aircraft for the National Weather Service and the Federal Aviation Administration. In 2007, ARINC MDCRS added the measurement of humidity via new water vapor sensors, providing valuable insight into the prediction of flight-disrupting weather.

“The more data we can provide to accurately forecast and plan for challenging weather situations, the better we can help airlines around the world improve route planning to enhance safety and improve passenger comfort,” Yun Chong, vice president, Commercial Aviation Services for Rockwell Collins.

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