Aircraft Wake Avoidance Solution

Wake Watch’s real-time systems enable airport capacity growth with existing infrastructure.

Wake Watch’s Dynamic Wake Avoidance Solution measures and analyzes wake, wind and atmospheric conditions present at an airport to safely optimize runway capacity in real time. Based on over 4 years of wake turbulence data, optimization is attained by using real-time measurements to show when Minimum Radar Separation (MRS) can safely be used such as when no temperature inversion layers are present. In such cases it may be more effective and safer to use MRS than to use the revised static spacing available with Time Based Spacing (TBS) or RECAT. This is because the TBS and RECAT static spacing does not take account of atmospheric conditions which cause aircraft wake turbulence to last much longer when atmospheric temperature inversion layers are present.

This Solution gives airports more information to make more informed decisions to be able to safely increase runway capacity.

How it works

    1. Wake Watch’s systems measure the structure of the atmosphere and the wake lifetimes in real time to determine what the current spacing should be.
    2. The real time data from the wake and met systems when combined will feed 3 simple indications to the AMAN and DMAN, Safe at MRS, Change of spacing necessary within 30 minutes, Use increased spacing.
    3. A now-cast system will show if an unsafe situation is developing in the next 30 minutes it provides a timely warning to increase spacing.

In normal atmospheres when even a moderate amount of turbulence is present aircraft wake vortices fall below the flight path at around 1.5m/s and typically last less than 30 seconds. Sometimes, mostly at night, temperature inversion layers can be present which can cause the wake vortices to rebound ( rather than falling ) and last for many minutes, posing a severe hazard to any aircraft following too closely behind. The temperature inversion layers are the only atmospheric phenomena that cause the aircraft wake vortices to rebound or last longer.
The Wake Watch systems can readily determine when it safe to use MRS between aircraft using the real time wake and real time atmospheric inversion layer detection systems.

A temperature inversion layer is present at around 60m, at around 12:13 UTC ( night time in Australia ) a departing A330 sheds a wake vortex which falls to the inversion layer and rebounds lasting at least 5 minutes.