NASA scientists are tossing cereal and crayons into jet engines. It leaves a colorful trail.

ASA engineers will be tossing crayons and cereal into jet engines in a test of new aircraft engine health monitoring technology designed to provide early warning of engine problems, including the destructive effect of volcanic ash.

Engineers at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center expect the cereal and crayons will leave a colorful trail of grains and wax that the researchers can see and study to gauge how well the sensors work.

After that, engineers will conduct a final test with very hard, glass-like particles that mimic volcanic ash.

Because it is difficult and risky to create problems intentionally on a jet engine in flight, the aircraft will remain on the ground for both tests.

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