In Situ Wake Vortex Encounter Detection and Reporting System
Wake vortices are a critical constraint to aircraft separation and therefore airportal throughput, which is already at or near capacity at many major airports in the NAS. Improvements to current methods of spacing aircraft could significantly increase airportal capacity, but there is currently limited awareness of wake encounters and information with which to assess spacing in real-time or to design new spacing schemes. AeroTech proposes to improve situational awareness of wake vortices and enhance the prediction of wake vortex transport and decay by continuing development of the In Situ Wake Vortex Encounter Detection and Reporting System (VEDARS). The VEDARS will quantitatively detect wake encounters from flight data; downlink encounter reports in real-time to enhance ATC awareness and enable assessment of spacing schemes; and collect and report meteorological parameters from aircraft for use in wake transport and decay predictions. AeroTech is also proposing to improve the accuracy and reliability of reported wind speed and direction (and hence crosswind estimation) by improving and validating an estimator for sideslip angle. A reliable and accurate crosswind estimate is a key component in predicting the transport of wakes. By the end of Phase II, the operational feasibility concept for the VEDARS will have been established.
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