LESS TURBULENCE ON THE RUNWAY
When it comes to road traffic, safety distances are precisely regulated. As a legal requirement they must be large enough to stop even if the vehicle in front brakes suddenly. Outside built-up areas, there is a simple rule of thumb: The required distance in meters is half that on the speedometer – at 100 kilometers per hour, that’s 50 meters.
“THE VERY FIRST EVALUATIONS OF THE NEW MEASUREMENTS IN VIENNA SHOW THAT THE WAKE VORTICES NEAR THE PLATES ACTUALLY DISSIPATE MUCH MORE QUICKLY.”
DR FRANK HOLZÄPFEL, DLR INSTITUTE FOR ATMOSPHERIC PHYSICS
POSSIBLE DAMAGE TO BUILDINGS TOO
Austro Control and the DLR are working together with other measurement and sensor technology partners at Vienna International Airport to defuse wake vortices in the approach area and thus further increase safety. The researchers are using a DLR-patented configuration of parallel, vertically positioned ground plates known as plate lines, which disperse wake vortices much more quickly. A laser measuring device is used to record the behavior of the wake vortices in detail for later evaluation.
The aim of this project, which is called “Wake Turbulence Separation Optimisation” and is funded under the EU research program SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research), is to prove the effectiveness of the plates in practice at a large commercial airport. Their effectiveness has in fact already been demonstrated in the water towing tank, flow simulations and previous flight tests at the DLR site in Oberpfaffenhofen.
MODEL FOR ALL LARGE AIRPORTS
Background: The construction of new runways at established airports involves huge costs, with residential areas often affected by the expansion. If aircraft are able to take off and land closer together in future while fully guaranteeing safety, existing systems could be used more effectively, and runway extensions avoided.
Photos: Austro Control und Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)