Reprinted from 44th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit: Reno, NV, January 9, 2006, pages 1-11. AIAA 2006-58. Reprinted with permission from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. Publisher website: http://www.aiaa.org/content.cfm?pageid=2
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author William Durgin was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
This paper describes the experimental proof of concept study for an ultrasonic method of wake vortex detection for airport use. This new acoustic method utilizes travel time of acoustic pulses around a closed path to measure the net circulation within the acoustic path. In this application the closed path encloses the vorticity shed from one side of a Piper PA28 aircraft wing. Magnitude and sign of circulation detected is comparable to the expected circulation generated by the Piper PA28 test aircraft. This study demonstrates the validity of the acoustic method in detecting aircraft wake vortices. Further investigations and applications utilizing this technique are discussed.