Validation of SODAR real-time sensing and visualisation of wake vortices

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Tuesday, 31 January 2006
Validation of SODAR real-time sensing and visualisation of wake vortices
Exhibit Hall A2 (Georgia World Congress Center)
Stuart Bradley, Univ. of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Poster PDF (95.3 kB)

Acoustic wind and turbulence profilers (SODARs) have proven to be particularly effective, across many applications, in real-time observation of the lowest few hundered meters in the atmosphere. This is largely because of operational reliability in virtually all weather conditions. We report on continuous real-time operational monitoring of wake vortices using an array of SODARs at a major US airport. Each vertical wind speed profile, comprises a matrix of wind speeds at each height range (determined by acoustic pulse characterisitics), and each horizontal position (determined by SODAR spacing). These 'snap-shots', every 2 seconds, are individually analysed so as to estimate best values of vortex circulation and position. This is achieved using least-squares fitting, of the data matrix against a simple vortex model, which also returns reliability of the vortex strength and position estimates. The resulting time-sequence of vortex development is then presented in a number of ways as a real-time visualisation. Important features of this work are: use of a proven technology; validation at vortex generation against known aircraft characteristics (before substantive vortex-meteorological interaction); use of very simple assumptions in the parameter-extraction model so that the estimated parameters are not constrained; and real-time processing and display, with reliability estimates, in a wide range of atmospheric conditions.