How aircraft can fly through smoke-filled skies

Navigating smoke-filled skies may seem like a new challenge to those in the Eastern United States, but aerospace researchers have long been preparing aircraft to fly under just such conditions. Professor Jeffrey Bons of The Ohio State University is an expert in the field of particulate deposition, the study of dust/sand/salt/pollutant build up on aircraft engines. His laboratory is internationally renowned for maximizing the efficiency of gas turbine engines operating in particulate-filled atmospheric conditions, like those occurring downwind of wildfires. While not typical of the skies above most of the U.S., similar conditions are commonly encountered in flights over deserts, active volcanoes and highly polluted areas. Professor Bons can discuss advanced technology used in gas turbine jet engines to mitigate the risks of airborne particulate build up, including decreased performance and engine failure.