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In modern transport aircraft (built from around 2010 onwards), AWRs (Airborne Weather Radars) can allow for a more pleasant journey for the passengers and crew through the use of...
  • A
    turbulence detection.
  • B
    gust detection.
  • C
    lightning detection.
  • D
    precipitation detection.
Learning Objective Explain how turbulence (not CAT) can be detected by a modern weather radar.
Learning Objective Explain how wind shear can be detected by a modern weather radar.

This question has to be very specific in order for it not to have 2 correct answers. The fact that it says "modern aircraft" certainly means that they are referring to the learning objectives above. These refer to the turbulence and wind shear detection capabilities of modern airborne weather radars (AWRs), not the precipitation detection which has been around for over 70 years.

Between windshear detection and turbulence detection, they are almost the same process, but windshear detection involves input from the Air Data Computer (ADC), via the GPWS system to produce windshear alerting (and it is not an available answer option).

Therefore the correct answer can only be turbulence detection.

We look ahead using our AWR to check our planned routing, and occasionally choose a better one. Turbulence can be detected by modern AWRs, as the movement of the precipitation within the cloud causes a doppler shift on the returning radar pulses, so the radar can form an idea of the air movement patterns in that area. If they are erratic, then turbulence exists in that region. This cannot detect CAT (clear air turbulence), as that has no associated radar returns, as it is invisible by definition.

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