Volcanic Ash Studies

Volcanic ash is a recurring impediment to normal air-traffic operations in Europe, Asia and South America due to potential jet engine damage caused by the razor-sharp particles in dense ash plumes. A notable example is the 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland that shut-down air traffic throughout Western Europe for seven days, with intermittent closings necessary as new ash plumes continued to enter the European airspace. More than 300 airports were closed, 100,000 flights were cancelled, and 10 million passengers were impacted. This economic disaster prompted research organizations to place more emphasis on developing effective volcanic ash monitoring systems.

For Aviation Forecasters the Mini Micro Pulse LiDAR (MiniMPL) from Droplet Measurement Technologies (Droplet), is the premier lidar/ceilometer for detecting potentially dangerous cloud aerosols, such as volcanic ash, at long range. MiniMPL is a highly portable lidar system designed for automated measurement. MiniMPL units have operated unattended from Everest to the Sahara, taking measurements of aerosol, cloud vertical structure and boundary layer heights 24/7/365.

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MiniMPL Mini Micro Pulse LiDAR

A small form factor, low-power, elastic backscatter lidar designed to determine the altitude of clouds and to detect atmospheric aerosols.

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