1. The small volcanic ash particles are especially dangerous to the jet engines of airplanes.
2. Because only volcanic clouds contain significant abundances of SO2 (sulfur dioxide) the Suomi NPP satellite (launched in 2011) is able to track the volcanic plumes.
3. The high-resolution vertical profiles will allow more accurate forecasts and help reduce airline cancellations and re-routing costs.
TAG: This capability of three-dimensional mapping of a moving volcanic cloud has never been done before.