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February 28, 2014 AT 3:31 PM
Anyone who’s flown can attest to atmospheric turbulence. My worst was one late December in the North Pacific, some 400 miles south of the Aleutians. The plane started shuddering and bucking so badly that even the flight attendants looked spooked. In fact, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) reports that there are more than 1000 turbulence-related injuries on commercial aircraft each year. The key is tapping into existing state-of-the-art GPS receivers that are typically used for high-accuracy applications; including emergency response; engineering; road construction; even geophysics monitoring. The idea is to use arrays of these systems at fixed locations on the ground to directly detect turbulence within the GPS antennas’ field of view.