Volcanic Ash and air transport system

Since the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull and the following interruption of air traffic in Europe in April and May 2010, numerous activities (modelling, measurements, conferences, etc.) have taken place. From these and earlier activities there is a lot of information already available.

An FP7 a coordinated support action (CSA) focusses on weather hazards for aeronautics. One key topic will be volcanic ash, another is icing. The CSA on Weather Hazards for Aeronautics (WEZARD) will review the current knowledge on volcanic ash, mineral dust and ice crystals as potential threats to aviation. Based on the review, a gap analysis will be performed and a R&D roadmap will be developed. WEZARD aims at the preparation of Level 1 and Level 2 proposals for upcoming FP7 calls. WEZARD plans for a duration of 24 months. DLR is coordinating the work package on scientific support in this CSA.

Within ECATS International Association a working group on volcanic ash has been established. This ideas was further developed jointly with EASA during a specific thematic session on volcanic ash during Aerodays 2011. Since then intensive research has been performed within Europe.

After the eruption of the Icelandic volcano ECATS partners (NTUA) have some ongoing activities that aim in the introduction of volcanic ash effects in engine performance models as well as in the development of diagnostic procedures that could help in the early detection of this kind of problems. Such procedures are useful either as a tool for a-posteriori assessment of effects on engines that have undergone operation under circumstances of the sort, or as tools that could be used for online assessment of any suspected effects on engine operation. The experience gained from these activities can support the web site that provides information about volcanic ash topics, as well as the WEZARD activities.

Therefore one activity of ECATS concerning volcanic ash is to bring expertise together, e.g. via web-site providing links to relevant reports, workshop proceedings, results of measurement campaign, modelling results.

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