Researchers are studying different aspects of wake vortices. Objectives vary, but they all embody the need to prevent wakes upsetting the flight of aircraft in the vicinity. Wake programmes are intended to:

  • Determine the behaviour of wakes and their typical patterns.
  • Chart the effect of wind, atmospheric turbulence, and surface heating on wake displacement and decay.
  • Forecast the displacement of wakes under given meteorological conditions.
  • Improve ground-based tools for the detection and surveillance of wakes.
  • Develop technology for on-board wake detection and alert.
  • Develop man-machine interfaces to enable controllers to space aircraft by time rather than distance, thus taking into account the effect of headwinds, tailwinds or crosswinds on the wakes created by aircraft flying approach or departure procedures.


Source: Flight International