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A wider field of awareness: Why airports are adopting X-band radar

Aircraft landing
Pekka Rossi
Application Manager, Weather Radars
Published: Aug 31, 2020
Aviation and Road Solutions
Weather & Environment

Immediately after departure and before landing, aircraft are especially vulnerable to the weather. 

After takeoff, they are starting to climb to cruise altitude — their airspeed is still building at this point and they have the added distractions of nearby air traffic and communications chatter. On approach, they are flying with low engine power and reduced airspeed (and thus their ability to rapidly climb or adjust trajectory is limited). 

This makes proactive weather awareness during these flight phases especially crucial and is why airports around the globe are adopting X-band radar to fill this important gap in their awareness.

Safety and situational awareness

X-band radar provides highly valuable short-term nowcasting of approaching weather systems and phenomena including rain, snow, hail, thunderstorms, microbursts, and more. This allows Air Traffic Control and pilots to make informed decisions for the takeoff and landing patterns, and it fills in an airport’s situational awareness.

This is especially true for airports situated near mountainous and coastal areas, where weather patterns just beyond the airport are difficult to measure, hard to keep track of, and critical for safe operations. 

For all of these reasons, Vaisala and our customers have focused a great deal on our best-in-class X-band radar, which is easily integrated into an airport’s sensor network. Highly accurate and adaptable for all kinds of terrain and geographies, its data can help protect the safe and efficient operations at airports around the globe.

As a standalone product or as a key part of Vaisala’s aviation weather solution, AviMet®, X-band provides great value for airport weather operations, broader coverage than in-situ airport weather measurement systems that observe the immediate runway area, and more up-to-date and geo-specific data than sparse weather radar networks. Because of this, it gives airports greater visibility into the takeoff and approach corridors.

Is X-band your missing link? Learn more online and contact us to talk about how it can easily integrate with your existing operations. 

You can also listen to our webinar Ride the X-band wave for airport weather observation.

 

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