The World ATM Congress in Madrid is the largest event in the field of air navigation and air traffic control. From June 21st to 23rd in Madrid, it combined a major exhibition with a conference. Several thousand specialist visitors from all over the world used this annual opportunity to familiarise themselves with the latest trends and developments in this field. The Institutes of Flight Guidance and the Institute of Atmospheric Physics together with the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR) exhibited current research projects at their common AT-One booth for the air traffic control of the future.
Figure 1: Approaching aircraft above experimental plate line at airport Vienna at twilight. (Photo: DLR / F. Holzäpfel, CC BY-ND-NC 3.0)
The Institute of Atmospheric Physics showcased how the lifetime of wake vortices can be substantially reduced during final approach by the installation of so-called plate lines. Plate lines consist of a series of parallel plates with 4.5 m height installed in front of the runways. The plates mitigate the risk of wake vortex encounters and can contribute to increase the runway throughput capacity. Details can be found in the Plate Line White Paper.
Figure 2: Presentation of the plate line method with experimental vortex generator (left) and the design elements of the plates (right). (Photo: DLR / F. Holzäpfel, CC BY-ND-NC 3.0)
A vortex generator served as eyecatcher directing vortex rings on a plate line model leading to swift vortex decay. Experts were briefed about the potential of the plate line concept using a slide show. Here the acceleration of wake vortex decay by up to 37% and the increased runway throughput potential for four plate line use cases were of particular interest. For the first time an exhibit showed the relevant design elements of a plate as it shall be installed at runways in the future.
Further information on the exhibits and the research topics can be found on the Website of AT-One.