JAL and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Sign Contract for Lightning Avoidance System ‘Lilac’

Japan Airlines (JAL) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have signed a usage contract for the lightning avoidance decision system ‘Lilac’ and have introduced it to domestic airports since April.

The majority of lightning strikes on aircraft occur during takeoff and landing, with several hundred incidents annually in Japan, sometimes resulting in damage to the aircraft. In particular, the repair process for equipment made of composite carbon materials is complex, and can take a long time to complete, leading to economic losses amounting to several hundred million yen annually.

Developed through joint research by the two companies, an AI prediction model is used to accurately predict the positions with a high likelihood of lightning strikes during flight. Pilots can adjust their arrival route and landing time to avoid lightning, based on actual thunderclouds visible from the cockpit and onboard radar, in addition to an ASCII art report for which a patent was jointly obtained.

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