Wake Vortex Scenario Analysis
(17. March 2009)

Wake Vortex Scenario Analysis

Wake vortices are generated by all aircraft and pose a potential risk, depending on wake vortex strength and orientation

In the context of recent development of large civil aircraft like the A380, wake vortex (WV) research was once again of interest, after current safety rules were introduced during Boeing 747 development in the 1960s-1970s. Simulation and analysis of wake vortex scenarios near airports is a multi-disciplinary task where our design and analysis environment MOPS (Multi Objective Parameter Synthesis) can serve as an integrating platform.


WakeScene (Wake Vortex Scenario Simulation) is a package of software modules, developed by different DLR institutes (physics of the atmosphere, flight guidance, flight physics), combined in and controlled by MOPS. The functionality includes aircraft traffic mix and trajectory generation, realistic meteorological data; WV evolution modeling and WV encounter identification. The first versions of WakeScene focused on the landing scenario and were utilized in cooperation with Airbus in projects in 2004–2006.

By means of the WakeScene tool two different WV research topics can be addressed: i) research of WV encounter probabilities and ii) assessment of WV encounter severity.


Current and Future Wake Vortex Research

WakeScene combines different modules for trajectory generation, wake vortex evolution and encounter identification

Further development of WakeScene in 2006 and 2007 resulted in a version for take-off and departure scenarios. This WakeScene-D version was developed for an EU project, CREDOS to investigate the possibility of reducing the WV separation in crosswind dominated weather scenarios. The modules in WakeScene-D were enhanced and include: i) a trajectory model by DLR-FL including a pilot model for departure by TU Berlin, ii) a meteorological database of one year in 10min increments for airport Frankfurt-Main by DLR-PA, iii) WV evolution models by DLR-PA and UCL (Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium) and iv) a hazard area model by DLR-FT for WVE identification. All modules are embedded in MOPS, which performs central computations and controls parameter synthesis, data exchange and storage for extensive Monte Carlo Simulations in the range of up to 1 million departure simulations. The simula­tions are performed on the Linux 32-core cluster of our institute.

WakeScene is being further developed for the landing scenario as well, especially for the DLR project “Wetter und Fliegen”—“weather and flying”, the successor of the renowned DLR projects Wirbelschleppe I + II (1999–2006). The project is focused on airport weather to enhance the (future) air traffic control (ATC) and advanced aircraft systems to improve safety.

In the weather part of the project, WakeScene will be utilized to develop reduced separation operations for different weather conditions and perform risk assessment and capacity gain estimation. For this purpose, the advanced trajectory module of WakeScene-D will be converted to include approach and landing capability.

Authors: Joos, Hans-Dieter; Kladetzke, Jan; DLR RM

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