Aeronautics pic of the day

Cool vortex. This is a test of the engine health monitoring system on a C-17 at Dryden Flight Research Center. (update: that’s water being sucked into the engine.)

NASA’s Aviation Safety Program is developing technology for improved sensors to help spot changes in vibration, speed, temperature and emissions which are symptomatic of engine glitches. These advanced sensors could alert ground crews to problems that can be eliminated with preventive maintenance before becoming serious safety concerns. Ultimately, the sensors could alert pilots to the presence of destructive volcanic ash particles too small for the eyes to see, giving more time for evasive action to prevent engine damage in flight.