Senior NILU Scientist Dr. Fred Prata has been working on an ash detection technology for over 15 years and today he received the credit he deserves at a major press conference in London.
The airborne solution called AVOID is a system being developed which will provide pilots with roughly 6-7 minutes warning of ash clouds. The system uses IR technology and proprietary algorythms to distinguish ash from water vapor.
Design, testing and certification will be taking place over the next few months and will be commercialized by daughter company Nicarnica AS.
The AVOID system is only one part of the total solution envisioned by NILU and Nicarnica. In addition, Nicarnica's ground based solution called CyClops can be used for monitoring at volcano sites and sensative areas such as airports. The ground based solution would be able to visualize ash up to 20 km as compared to the 100 km from the AVOID system. Combining these two technologies will improve the accuracy of models and allow some level of continued operation for aviation in the event of ash detection.