Organization: National Center for Atmospheric Research
Personal Biography: Dr. Carmichael completed his Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1976. His career has involved research, development, and management of diverse science and technology, including telephone switching systems, health research information systems, census data base systems, aircraft overhaul information systems, air traffic control systems, and weather forecasting systems. Employers have included Bell Telephone Labs, the US Public Health Service, the US Census Bureau, several Washington consulting firms, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. In addition, he has served on the faculty of the University of Maryland and the Florida Institute of Technology. He is a current commercial instrument-rated pilot.
Directed Study Topic: Weather — Why Do Pilots Care?
Flying is an inherently risky business, but people have learned how to manage the risk to the point that flying is much safer than using any other form of transportation. Flying is totally dependent on the condition of the air surrounding the flight. All kinds of weather can impact a flight: thunderstorms, turbulence, winter storms, icing, clouds, obstructions to vision, and winds. Other hazards the airplane may encounter are also affected by weather, for example birds, wing tip vortices, volcanic ash. In our caution to be very safe, we often will fly greater distances or cancel flights to avoid adverse weather. This means that adverse weather generates havoc in the system, reducing capacity and causing delays. Aviation Weather Scientists spend their days learning how to provide more accurate forecasts of adverse weather to make aviation safer and more efficient. In this directed study, delegates will learn some of the ways these scientists do their work and see some of the results of their endeavors.