WSI is claiming crowdsourcing from the clouds with its tracking system that automatically detects and relays information on turbulence.
The company, a division of the Weather Company, says information for Total Turbulence is sourced from multiple partner airlines and flight controllers on the ground and that it's about "leveraging the connected world we live in to get better data."
There are lots of upsides to the technology such as more accurate and up-to-date reporting on turbulence which hopefully gives pilots more time to plan different routes and/or take decisions to adjust altitude.
There are also efficiency gains to be made in the pre-flight planning process if pilots and ground staff have better information to hand.
Mark Miller, a WSI vice president and general manager, says that uncertainty tends to mean aircraft carry more fuel which is less efficient and has financial and environmental impacts.
Miller explains that turbulence has traditionally been reported by pilots via voice or text, leaving it down to the subjectivity of the pilot and adds that a sustained period of turbulence often leads to a higher threshold reported.
In addition, the priority of those in the cockpit is passenger safety so they might not be thinking of reporting the turbulence immediately.
"Our technology is auto detecting and objectively reporting what it is sensing and gets it to the ground as quickly as possible."
It can then be relayed to other flights that could be affected as well as meteorologists.
A further use of the technology is making the information and alerts available to the people on the ground who, along with the pilot, make decisions on the flight.
The information should also prove useful for aircraft maintenance because planes need to go through certain safety processes after being subjected to a particular level of turbulence.
One downside of the technology is that it takes about six months for an airline to get up and running in terms of equipping aircraft and developing the code.
However, there are also airlines who partner with WSI to simply access the data and can be up and running within a few days.
Miller says WSI is in the "final stages" of discussions with a major European carrier as well as ongoing discussions with an airline in the Asia Pacific region.
He adds that two partners, out of its four existing carrier customers which include American Airlines, have already seen fuel efficiency gains and a reduction in injuries to crew.
NB: Flying aircraft image via Shutterstock.