Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dynamic Weather Routes (DWR) tool tested at an American Airlines control center

The Dynamic Weather Routes (DWR) tool being tested at an American Airlines control center saves time with better options for avoiding bad weather.

Image Credit: NASA

In the heat of a summer afternoon, a line of thunderstorms develops in the skies over North Texas and threatens to wreak havoc with the timely flow of air traffic headed toward or away from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

One look at the weather radar tells the grim story: airlines will lose money as jets burn extra fuel to avoid the storms and aggravated passengers will miss connections as flights are delayed. No one will be happy.

Fortunately, a NASA-developed tool designed to alleviate some of those weather-induced interruptions and resulting frustrations is testing well in ongoing field trials that involve American Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Known as Dynamic Weather Routes (DWR), the computer software tool is programmed to constantly analyze air traffic throughout the National Airspace System, along with the ever-shifting movements of weather severe enough to require an airliner to make a course change.

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