IBM Teaming Up With GoGo To Help Airplane Pilots Avoid Turbulence In Real Time

Image courtesy of Paul Thompson)

If the word “turbulence” has you grabbing your chair in fear at the mere thought of a bumpy, rollicking airplane ride, there could be relief in sight. IBM has teamed up with in-flight WiFi company GoGo to provide pilots and dispatchers with real-time turbulence reports and alerts.

The service will use The Weather Channel’s turbulence detection algorithm live in GoGo’s servers, which before were only used to provide WiFi on commercial flights. IBM purchased The Weather Channel’s digital properties last year.

“It’s no longer just about passenger connectivity, we have to consider all the other ways we can leverage the available technology to enhance the overall flight experience and improve,” said Andrew Kemmetmueller, vice president of connected aircraft services at Gogo in a press release.

“Traditionally, flight operations personnel, pilots and aviation meteorologists received coded verbal reports with limited information on flight conditions, also known as PIREPS,” IBM explains. But certain factors, including no internet service in the cockpits, kept pilots from getting real-time updates.

Detecting turbulence before it hits isn’t just about keeping passengers calm, it can also help prevent injuries in the cabin. And it can also keep me from ordering too many alcoholic beverages to keep the panicky feelings inside quiet.

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