|College develop ash detector|
|Written by Declan Rooney|
|Wednesday, 12 May 2010|
NUI Galway researchers have developed Ireland's own volcanic ash forecast capability that will act as a reference aid for travellers caught up in recent flight disruptions. Professor Colin O'Dowd, Director of the Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies at NUI Galway, which is behind this major development, said the quick-fire development was a sign of the college's ability to respond to a crisis.
"The combined skill of NUI Galway in atmospheric physics and air pollution research, Met Eireann in weather and climate research, and the Irish Centre for High End Computing (ICHEC) in computational science, was the perfect recipe for the rapid success.
"The ICHEC supercomputers have been critical to accommodating the daily influx data and the number crunching of these data in highly complex regional climate and weather forecasting models used in the prediction facility."
The facility available at www.macehead.org is currently being updated twice daily, but will expand to six daily forecasts in the coming week, once some minor adjustments are completed.
Meanwhile, after a weekend of further disruptions, Galway, Knock and Shannon airports look set to remain open until at least 1pm today (Wednesday) after the latest IAA update yesterday afternoon.
According to the Icelandic Met Office, there are no signs that the eruption is about to end, with the situation with the volcanic eruption remaining 'dynamic'.
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) expect that the 2,400 miles long and 1,300 miles wide cloud will continue to cause disruptions to flights to the Iberian Peninsula and the Canary Islands over the next few days.
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