Nowcasting requirements for the aircraft vortex spacing system (AVOSS)
January 10, 1999
Aircraft wake vortices are counter-rotating tubes of air that are generated from aircraft as a consequence of the lift on the aircraft. The safety concern of wake vortices, particularly when lighter aircraft are following heavy planes, has caused the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to enact minimum separation requirements during the arrival phase of flight. These separation standards are imposed at the arrival threshold during Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) and are a significant constraint on arrival capacity at the largest U.S. airports. Any movement toward increasing air traffic efficiency, such as concepts toward free-flight, must address increasing runway capacity if they are to be fully effective. Decades of past wake vortex measurements clearly show that current wake vortex separations are overconservative in many weather conditions, and that adapting the separations to the current weather state could safely reduce these separations...This paper describes the known meteorological influences on vortex behavior and gives an overview of AVOSS. Airport climatology is studied to discuss the prevalence of conditions that are conducive to capacity increases with AVOSS technology. Finally, additional constraints on AVOSS nowcasts are discussed.