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Can rising air be detected visually from a distance?

All soaring pilots would be exhilerated by the possibility of locating columns of rising air visually from a distance by means of thermovision or some other technique. Can modern technology provide for this? A solution could be either to observe/detect actual temperature differences or movement of particles of dust carried by what is commonly reffered to as thermals.

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  • Oct 29 2012: Following the line of your argument, are you suggesting that sailors should abandon the use of GPS and perhaps even the sextant, hunters should abandon their infrared optical instruments, physicians should discard USG and X-ray?
    I am afraid we are collectively doomed to always crave for innovations much as our foreparents craved for that forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden.
    I am perfectly aware that the day is not far off when technology (human made) will emancipate itself from human control, but am equally convinced that individual atavistic behaviours will not hinder this process. Coming back to the original topic, I am sure those birds of pray with proverbial keen eyesight would conversrly stand to benefit from thermals marked by sailplane pilots accoutred with electronic thermal finders :-).

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