Wake Vortexes and Wind Shear are potential causes of accidents and injuries to passengers and crew of all aircraft types. There are currently few options for protection against these phenomena and the main way of reducing accidents is to impose mandatory separation times between aircraft which can affect the operating performance of airports.
Wake Vortex and Wind Shear detection is therefore the focus of research programmes funded within Europe and the US. The LIDAR technique (LIght Detection And Ranging) has already been shown to offer a technical solution for detection of Wake Vortexes and Wind Shear. The targeted project benefits are:
- improved crew and passenger safety;
- increased airport capacity via reduced air traffic separation;
- quicker recovery from airport disruption/delays, and
- greater environmental hazard awareness.
The GREEN-WAKE project was a collaborative project funded by the European Commission which developed and tested an on-board short-range (50-100m) Imaging Doppler LIDAR system that is capable of detecting and measuring Wake Vortexes and Wind Shear phenomena in front of an aircraft. The aim of the project was to develop a system suitable for integration into a commercial aircraft, but also to look at how data are to be supplied to the aircrew most effectively. The project involved eleven partners from nine countries and is led by Sula Systems Ltd, a UK Company.
The objective of GREEN-WAKE was to develop and validate innovative technologies that will detect wake and wind hazards and thus improve the operating efficiency of an airport and improve passenger safety. GREEN-WAKE represented a significant step beyond current state-of-the art as it aimed to improve upon:
- the understanding of wake vortex and wind sheer detection, and
- current detection methods.
The objectives of GREEN-WAKE were:
- Demonstrate an instrument which can:
- detect Wake Vortexes and Wind Shear in a timely manner,
- anticipate and mitigate effect of Wake Vortexes and Wind Shear on the aircraft and occupants.
- UV LIDAR based.
Commercially available technologies do not provide a solution. This project sought to develop a new sensor that is able to provide real-time detection. It developed new and novel technologies, particularly in scanning and detectors, that will enable real improvements to be made. Further it developed a new concept in the 3D visualisation of atmospheric hazards, which is an important first step to developing closed loop-systems. GREEN-WAKE improved the knowledge and functionality of previous projects. GREEN-WAKE met and contributed to four objectives of the AAT.2007 call.
Many of the concepts and the innovations have applications in other on-board sensors for monitoring atmospheric hazards, engine emissions, engine heath and air quality. The 3D simulator took another new step, creating tools that can model instrument performance. The structure of GREEN-WAKE will enable the latest technologies to be individually evaluated and made available to industrial users. Given the high level of innovation that goes beyond just the sensor, this is an important aspect to the exploitation plan. Dissemination will be through a web-site and briefings with key industrial and user groups.
Development and validation of innovative technologies to detect the wake and wind hazards, thus improving the operating efficiency of an airport and improving passenger safety. Furthermore, project GREEN-WAKE has improved insight into and has improved on timely detection of wake vortexes and wind sheer.
The innovations delivered by GREEN-WAKE are, among others:
- modelling and simulation of wake vortex and of wind shear detection, using imaging LIDAR instruments;
- development of an imaging Doppler LIDAR and fast scanning system;
- detector and data processing;
- testing and demonstrating the system performance;
- hazard map.
Anticipation and mitigation of wake and wind hazards is important for the safety of aircraft and passengers, and for the operating efficiency of the airport.
The project also results in among others:
- increased safety for crew and passengers, as unexpected aircraft movements will be reduced;
- higher airport capacities due to reduced air traffic separation;
- increased in-flight safety in dense airspace.
An efficient and integrated mobility system: Acting on transport safety (saving thousands of lives)