Wake Turbulence Measurement

Vorticity is generated from the aerodynamic lift from the surfaces of an aircraft. Rollup of the vorticity into a pair of counter-rotating vortices occurs downstream of the aircraft. Vortices descend downward due to the mutual induction of the vortex pair.


wake turbulence meaurement system

Metrology and winds greatly affect the transport, descent rate, and decay of the vortices. Temperature inversion layers have been shown to cause the vortices to hang or rebound.

Wake vortices are one of the major constraints on separations between aircraft pairs or sequences. Air Traffic Control (ATC) separations standards include considerations of wake vortices, designed with worst case conditions within aircraft categories. The FAA last categorized separation standards in 1994, and many European agencies have their own standards.

Currently, with NextGen and SESAR, a significant change to current separation standards is necessary, and the movement to a new matrix is underway. The current and future separation standards have no foundation, and are based on the weight of the aircraft, which real-time measurement has shown to be incorrect.

We use a different design methodology, based on real-time measurement of turbulence, runway specifics, met, and aircraft variants.


Runway Detection System

At Operations Based Navigation, a distinct specialty and advantage of the procedure design is the understanding and incorporation of wake vortex separation capabilities. From single runway approach, parallel runways, and departures, our team can show you how to optimize operations, reduce separation, increase traffic, and increase safety.

airside capacity enhancement

We support enhanced capacity, efficiency, and increased safety.  These capabilities can support or provide Safety Case analysis under Airside Capacity Enhancement (ACE) programs, ICAO wake turbulence recategorization, and reduced separation PBN procedure design.

Aviation System Block Upgrade (ASBU) program support.

Real time wake measurement is one of the key enabling technologies detailed in the Aviation System Block Upgrade (ASBU) program. Many of the Block 0 rely on wake turbulence measurement for reduced or specific separation concepts, as examples:

  • B0-70 Increased Runway Throughput through Optimized Wake Turbulence Separation.
  • B1-70: Increased Runway capacity through Dynamic Wake Turbulence Separation.
  • B2-70: Advanced Wake Turbulence Separation (Time-based).

Operational Improvement Steps (OIS)

  • AO-0301 Crosswind Reduced Separations for Departures and Arrivals
  • AO-0302 Basic Time Based Separations for Final Approach
  • AO-0303 Fixed Reduced Separations based on Wake Vortex Prediction
  • AO-402 Interlaced Take-Off and Landing
  • AO-403 Optimised Dependent Parallel Operations


  • Surface movement control workstation equipped with a wind shear monitoring tool (ATC-30)
  • PRO-066a, ATC Procedures to apply new flexibility in application of wake vortex standards
  • PRO-068 ATC Procedures for Optimizing mixed mode operations on crossing runways


RNP parallel approach

RNP Departure splay

     RNP approach, offset horizontal and vertical                   RNP Departure splays