ASHi - Airborne Spectral Hazards Imager
ASHi detects particles (volcanic ash), gases (SO2) and turbulent eddies in the atmosphere ~30-50 km ahead of a commercial jet aircraft. The system makes use of technology (under patent protection) to determine particle and gas mass loadings, and vigorous accelerations in the vertical component of the wind field ahead. The multispectral infrared imaging system employs state-of-the-science microbolometric technology and fuses high spectral resolution measurements with broadband infrared imagery.
This unique combination of IR sensing coupled with extensive complex radiative transfer modelling permits detection of atmospheric anomalies at medium range distances (10-100 km) ahead of the aircraft. The system includes an on-board calibration module, ensuring that the measurements are consistent and quantifiable. An additional capability of the system is the use of the strong CO2 absorption band beyond 12 µm wavelength that allows ranging information. Dual-band imaging systems are not able to detect turbulence nor can they range, giving ASHi a significant advantage over these earlier primitive systems.