Objectives and content
Major airports in Europe reach saturation traffic levels at peak times where the limiting factor is the need to impose aircraft separation distances in order to avoid hazard to following aircraft caused by the presence of wake vortices from preceding aircraft. A highly desirable alternative to building new airports or runways, with their attendant large environmental and financial costs, would be to reduce separations.
This could be achieved without any reduction in safety standards if it were possible to reliably detect the presence of wake vortices from preceding aircraft.
An airborne eye-safe LIDAR offers the means to do this with the required level of safety.
In addition, an airborne remote sensing LIDAR Doppler anemometer offers the possibility of detecting other atmospheric hazards at long range of which the most well-known is windshear.
The current CEC FLAME project has demonstrated the viability of a LIDAR wake vortex detection system, including its operational aspects. This includes the development and demonstration of the core technologies and techniques for wake vortex detection, particularly the laser and signal/image processing technologies.
The MFLAME task objectives are:
- To extend the multifunctions applications area of the MFLAME equipment to include, in addition to wake vortex detection, dry windshear predictive detection, and to assess the predictive detection capabilities in areas such as clear air turbulence, volcanic ash, gust alleviation, mountain rotors and dry hail.
- To demonstrate wake vortex detection and windshear detection by means of a series of ground and flight tests of a 2 m LIDAR system and to evaluate the other available multifunction capabilities.
- To improve the techniques and technologies for a future cost effective multifunction airborne equipment (Laser/optics, signal processing). - To investigate operational aspects such as integration into the avionics system, certification issues and links with Air Traffic Management.
The multifunction capability is very important to the MFLAME concept because it emphasises aircraft safety at various flight phases - not just in the vicinity of crowded airports - making it much more financially attractive to potential end-users, such as airlines.
The MFLAME consortium comprises two manufacturers of airborne equipment (SEXTANT Avionique and GEC Marconi Avionics), a company specialising in Air Traffic Management studies (SOFREAVIA), a laboratory involved in air flow simulation (CERFACS), an organization for air/ground measurements and flight tests (DLR), university laboratories for processing algorithms and LIDAR simulation (UCG), and for Laser crystal research (University of Hamburg), and an organization specialised in Laser and optics simulation (INESC). For requirements definition and ATM integration of the MFLAME system, a "User Club" is attached to the project as "associated partners" to the MFLAME project. It includes Airliners, aircraft manufactures, airports, and official authorities.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
91941 Les Ulis
92441 Issy Des Moulineaux