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Wake Vortex Detection: Phased Microphone vs. Linear Infrasonic ArraySensor technologies can make a significant impact on the detection of aircraft-generated vortices in an air space of interest, typically in the approach or departure corridor. Current state-of-the art sensor technologies do not provide three-dimensional measurements needed for an operational system or even for wake vortex modeling to advance the understanding of vortex behavior. Most wake vortex sensor systems used today have been developed only for research applications and lack the reliability needed for continuous operation. The main challenges for the development of an operational sensor system are reliability, all-weather operation, and spatial coverage. Such a sensor has been sought for a period of last forty years. Acoustic sensors were first proposed and tested by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) early in 1970s for tracking wake vortices but these acoustic sensors suffered from high levels of ambient noise. Over a period of the last fifteen years, there has been renewed interest in studying noise generated by aircraft wake vortices, both numerically and experimentally. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) was the first to propose the application of a phased microphone array for the investigation of the noise sources of wake vortices. The concept was first demonstrated at Berlins Airport Schoenefeld in 2000. A second test was conducted in Tarbes, France, in 2002, where phased microphone arrays were applied to study the wake vortex noise of an Airbus 340. Similarly, microphone phased arrays and other opto-acoustic microphones were evaluated in a field test at the Denver International Airport in 2003. For the Tarbes and Denver tests, the wake trajectories of phased microphone arrays and lidar were compared as these were installed side by side. Due to a built-in pressure equalization vent these microphones were not suitable for capturing acoustic noise below 20 Hz. Our group at NASA Langley Research Center developed and installed an infrasonic array at the Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport early in the year 2013. A pattern of pressure burst, high-coherence intervals, and diminishing-coherence intervals was observed for all takeoff and landing events without exception. The results of a phased microphone vs. linear infrasonic array comparison will be presented.
Document ID
Document Type
Shams, Qamar A.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Zuckerwar, Allan J.
(Analytical Services and Materials, Inc. Hampton, VA, United States)
Sullivan, Nicholas T.
(Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Univ. Daytona Beach, FL, United States)
Knight, Howard K.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
May 28, 2014
Publication Date
May 13, 2014
Subject Category
Air Transportation And Safety
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
WakeNet-Europe 2014(Bretigny)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 432938.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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