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

Kopeć J.M., Kwiatkowski K., de Haan S., and Malinowski S.P.

Atmospheric Measurement Techniques

9, 2016, 2253-2265, 10.5194/amt-9-2253-2016

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.