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An Operational Wake Vortex Sensor Using Pulsed Coherent LidarNASA and FAA initiated a program in 1994 to develop methods of setting spacings for landing aircraft by incorporating information on the real-time behavior of aircraft wake vortices. The current wake separation standards were developed in the 1970's when there was relatively light airport traffic and a logical break point by which to categorize aircraft. Today's continuum of aircraft sizes and increased airport packing densities have created a need for re-evaluation of wake separation standards. The goals of this effort are to ensure that separation standards are adequate for safety and to reduce aircraft spacing for higher airport capacity. Of particular interest are the different requirements for landing under visual flight conditions and instrument flight conditions. Over the years, greater spacings have been established for instrument flight than are allowed for visual flight conditions. Preliminary studies indicate that the airline industry would save considerable money and incur fewer passenger delays if a dynamic spacing system could reduce separations at major hubs during inclement weather to the levels routinely achieved under visual flight conditions. The sensor described herein may become part of this dynamic spacing system known as the "Aircraft VOrtex Spacing System" (AVOSS) that will interface with a future air traffic control system. AVOSS will use vortex behavioral models and short-term weather prediction models in order to predict vortex behavior sufficiently into the future to allow dynamic separation standards to be generated. The wake vortex sensor will periodically provide data to validate AVOSS predictions. Feasibility of measuring wake vortices using a lidar was first demonstrated using a continuous wave (CW) system from NASA Marshall Space Flight Sensor and tested at the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center's wake vortex test site at JFK International Airport. Other applications of CW lidar for wake vortex measurement have been made more recently, including a system developed by the MIT Lincoln Laboratory. This lidar has been used for detailed measurements of wake vortex velocities in support of wake vortex model validation. The first measurements of wake vortices using a pulsed, lidar were made by Coherent Technologies, Inc. (CTI) using a 2 micron solid-state, flashlamp-pumped system operating at 5 Hz. This system was first deployed at Denver's Stapleton Airport. Pulsed lidar has been selected as the baseline technology for an operational sensor due to its longer range capability.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Langley Research Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Barker, Ben C., Jr.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA United States)
Koch, Grady J.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA United States)
Nguyen, D. Chi
(Research Triangle Inst. Hampton, VA United States)
Date Acquired
August 18, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 1998
Publication Information
Publication: Nineteenth International Laser Radar Conference
Issue: Part 2
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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