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Support to Aviation control

European Space Agency


page last modified:
15 May 2007
Volcano eruptions are important sources of gases, such as sulphur dioxide (SO2), and volcanic ash (aerosols) in the atmosphere. These emissions may have an impact on air traffic, and therefore it is useful to monitor these compounds: near-real time information on the emissions of volcanic ash and sulphur dioxide will enable better planning of air line routes.

For the Service, a set of geographic regions covering known volcanoes has been defined and each of these regions is monitored. Concentrations of SO2 are derived from UV measurements by satellite based instrument. If the concentrations in a given region exceed a limit, a warning is issued of a possible volcano eruption.


Aviation control products
product delivery
NRT = near-real time
Sulphur dioxide (SO2)
      volcano warning
      data archive
NRT - under development

At a later stage the SO2 warning may be combined with information on the aerosol distribution in the regions, e.g. using an Aerosol Absorbing Index (AAI) or dedicated aerosol retrieval, to provide additional information on possible volcano eruptions.


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