The Utility of Doppler Radar in the Study of Aircraft Wing-Tip Vortices
The feasibility of utilizing a special purpose Doppler radar to investigate air motions in aircraft wakes is explored and tested. Two similar experimental methods are undertaken to investigate the potential value of the Doppler radar approach. The first method involves injection of radar reflecting chaff into the wing-tip vortex of an aircraft in flight, and subsequently recording the Doppler spectrum of the return from the chaff packet as obtained by the radar looking normal to the flight path. The second method consists of Doppler measurements in the wake behind aircraft on the approach to an airport during snow conditions, where natural snow crystals and flakes assume the role of radar reflecting tracers of air motion. The power spectra derived from both techniques reflect the distribution of velocities of scatterers (chaff elements or snow crystals) in the direction of the radar, weighted by the spatial distribution of the scatterers contained in the radar sensitive volume.
KeywordsFlight Path Terminal Velocity Stable Orbit Dust Devil Doppler Radar
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