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New technology helps measure volcanic ash

July 6, 2011, 05:22 pm

After international air travel was shut down following the volcanic eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in April 2010, experts have been developing technology that could help measure the amount of airborne ash. The eruption caused the largest closure of European airspace since World War II and affected flights around the world.

Following the latest eruption of the Grimsvon volcano in Iceland experts conducted test flights over northern Germany using a Flight Design CT airplane fitted with a laser-based particle spectometer, General Aviation News reports.

The purpose of the flights were to obtain data regarding the volcanic ash cloud and discover the level of concentration and distribution of ash in the air. This collection of data may be used in the future to determine when it is safe to fly following an eruption and reduce the number of pilots life insurance claims.

"We are proud to help aviation safety in airliners through the very economical use of our CT aircraft," Flight Design CEO Matthias Betsch, told the media outlet. "While we enjoy flying our aircraft, our personnel also use airline travel and we are pleased to help ensure their safe travel." 

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