Researchers from the Norwegian Institute for Air Research are developing the AVOID ("Airborne Volcanic Object Imaging Detector") imaging system, which is designed to differentiate between normal clouds, sulfur dioxide clouds, and ash using infrared imaging, allowing pilots to evade volcanic ash clouds.
"An infrared camera that aims to give pilots ten minutes notice of encroaching volcanic ash clouds began its first flight tests around Mount Etna in Sicily at the weekend. The technology - already taken up by budget airline EasyJet - is designed to save airlines the millions of pounds lost in the aircraft groundings in the Icelandic volcanic ash crisis of spring 2010."
(the forum software wouldn’t let me post the unmodified link).
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[Edited 2011-11-22 00:04:25]