The FAA is testing technology to bring real-time satellite weather data into airplane cockpits, a more effective storm-tracking technique than current radar. The satellite-based technology, part of the upcoming NextGen system, would be especially useful on transoceanic flights that take aircraft beyond the reach of ground-based radar, experts say. The search for a new technology became more urgent after an Air France A330 disappeared off the coast of Brazil in 2009. Investigators believe the plane encountered violent thunderstorms in the so-called intertropical convergence zone, where intense storms occur year-round.

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