If you have flown American skies lately, you may have noticed shorter, smoother trips east of the Rockies. That's because a new turbulence detection and avoidance system is being tested (so far with success) by select United Airlines flights. New turbulence analysis software designed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) maps patches of rough air and compares the maps against the real-time flight paths of airliners. Alerts are sent to pilots giving them advance notice and presenting alternative routes enabling them to thread paths between turbulent regions without changing their arrival times. This should not only result in smoother flights but also save fuel and reduce delays on the ground.