Articles | Volume 9, issue 5
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 9, 2253–2265, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-9-2253-2016
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 9, 2253–2265, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-9-2253-2016

Research article 23 May 2016

Research article | 23 May 2016

Retrieving atmospheric turbulence information from regular commercial aircraft using Mode-S and ADS-B

Jacek M. Kopeć1,2, Kamil Kwiatkowski1,4,5, Siebren de Haan3, and Szymon P. Malinowski2 Jacek M. Kopeć et al.
  • 1Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modelling, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
  • 2Institute of Geophysics, Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
  • 3Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, De Bilt, the Netherlands
  • 4Institute of Theoretical Physics, Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
  • 5University Centre for Environmental Studies and Sustainable Development, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

Abstract. Navigational information broadcast by commercial aircraft in the form of Mode-S EHS (Mode-S Enhanced Surveillance) and ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast) messages can be considered a new source of upper tropospheric and lower stratospheric turbulence estimates. A set of three processing methods is proposed and analysed using a quality record of turbulence encounters made by a research aircraft.

The proposed methods are based on processing the vertical acceleration or the background wind into the eddy dissipation rate. Turbulence intensity can be estimated using the standard content of the Mode-S EHS/ADS-B.

The results are based on a Mode-S EHS/ADS-B data set generated synthetically based on the transmissions from the research aircraft. This data set was validated using the overlapping record of the Mode-S EHS/ADS-B received from the same research aircraft. The turbulence intensity, meaning the eddy dissipation rate, obtained from the proposed methods based on the Mode-S EHS/ADS-B is compared with the value obtained using on-board accelerometer. The results of the comparison indicate the potential of the methods. The advantages and limitation of the presented approaches are discussed.

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Short summary
This paper is presenting a feasibility study focused on methods of estimating the turbulence intensity based on a class of navigational messages routinely broadcast by the commercial aircraft (known as ADS-B and Mode-S). Using this kind of information could have potentially significant impact on aviation safety. Three methods have been investigated.