JERUSALEM, June 8 (Reuters) - Israel’s Elbit Systems and Norway’s Nicarnica Aviation have teamed up to develop a volcanic ash detector for commercial aircraft that will help pilots avoid flying into hazardous conditions.
The project, to be funded by the European-backed innovations programme Eurostars, will combine Elbit’s enhanced visions systems already popular among commercial and military pilots and Nicarnica’s volcanic object detector, Elbit said on Monday.
Nicarnica’s technology was tested in 2013 by a team including easyJet and Airbus when the world’s first man-made ash cloud was created to see how passenger aircraft cope with volcanic blasts such as the 2010 Icelandic eruption.
If successful, Elbit said, the new system will improve operational efficiency, reduce maintenance costs and help avoid commercial flight delays.
The eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 shut down much of Europe’s airspace for six days, affecting more than 10 million people and costing $1.7 billion. (Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch, editing by Louise Heavens)