When we’re sitting at the gate waiting to board our flight it’s staring at us straight in the face, however never really stop and think what its functions might be. I’m clearly referring to the aircraft’s nose. What is inside the aircraft nose’s dome?
What is Inside A Plane’s Nose?
Space is a scarse asset when designing an aircraft. Engineers must come up with creative and effective solutions to house vital systems to the airplane’s function in a situation of limited space.
The system housed in aircraft’s nose is no exception to this problem. The nose dome protects the weather radar. All modern jet liners house this system in the nose dome.
The solution is quite ingenious. To work at its best the weather radar needs to have an unobstructed view ahead of the plane. Locating it in the nose dome is the most intuitive way to solve this issue.
This system is vital for the safety and comfort of all people aboard the plane. Thanks to the weather radar pilots can see what the conditions are like a great distance ahead of their location. This allows them to adjust route and altitude avoiding severe turbulence and possible dangers to the integrity of the plane.
How Does a Plane’s Weather Radar Work?
The plane’s weather radar sends out radio waves that bounce back to the plane when they hit humidity and suspended water droplets. More waives bounce back to the plane the more intense the bad weather ahead is. The reflected radio waves are then elaborated by the onboard computer and served to the pilots in the cockpits with an intuitive color scheme on the navigation map for them to take necessary action.
What the radar is not able to foresee is what is called CAT, Clear Air Turbulence. As the name suggests this is turbulence which is not connected to the presence of clouds or water droplets in the air. This means that it cannot be intercepted by the aircraft’s weather radar. This kind of turbulence can be severe. Therefore CAT is the reason why you are always recommended to keep your seatbelt fastened.