Detecting dust and ash to provide key information to aviation stakeholders

On 15 March 2022, a large amount of dust reached Europe. Due to a Saharan dust storm, Spain, France and Portugal were covered by sand particles with a strong impact on the population (air quality) and airports (engine maintenance).

In the framework of the ALARM activity to warn of aviation risk, BIRA has developed a new algorithm to perform a selective detection of mineral aerosols (dust and ash) from the geostationary instrument SEVIRI on board MSG-4.

This animation shows the detection of dust using the SEVIRI RN index from 14 to 16 March 2022 (top image). The lower part of this animation shows the RGB composite (dust) provided by EUMETSAT. We can see the interest for the National Weather Service to combine ALARM dust detection with the EUMETSAT RGB composite to provide key information to aviation stakeholders.

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