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Blended wing body prototype in the Langley Full-Scale Tunnel


TECHNICAL EXCELLENCE: 2004
Turbulence Reporting Goes Automatic

A representation of TAPS.

Image above: A representation of how the Turbulence Auto-PIREP (TAPS) system works to automatically send a report of air turbulence encounters to air traffic controllers on the ground. Credit: NASA Langley Research Center, Paul Stough

Time and human memory are the biggest enemies of accurate turbulence reporting. While other pilots and ground controllers would like to know about turbulence encounters immediately, the affected pilot is busy flying the aircraft through or around the disturbance. That pilot is often unable to make a report until after the incident, and sometimes not until after landing if the incident occurred late in the flight.

NASA's Turbulence Auto-PIREP System (TAPS) takes the reporting job out of the pilot's hands. Its turbulence encounter reports are generated automatically, immediately displayed on computers on the ground and received in the cockpits of other aircraft. Initially flight tested on 80 Delta Airlines passenger jets, TAPS continues in daily operation on more than 85 Delta Boeing 737-800, 767-300, and 767-400 aircraft.

TAPS Team
NASA Langley Research Center, Delta Airlines, ARINC, AeroTech Research




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