Exhaust Plume Analyzer


This is part of MITRE's FastLicense program.

Exhaust plumes emanating from smoke stacks at power plants or other industrial facilities can have adverse impacts on local aviation during periods of calm winds. Adverse impacts can exacerbate if the temperature is low or the atmosphere is unstable. While low oxygen concentrations and elevated temperatures inside the plume can be detrimental to slow-flying or hovering helicopters, the turbulence generated from the upward motion of the plume is the main potential hazard to light, fixed-wing aircraft at low altitudes.

The Exhaust Plume Analyzer consists of three main parts: a convective flow model describing the mean flow of the plume, two aircraft response models judging the required vertical gust to achieve severe turbulence or aircraft upset, and a turbulence model computing the probability of experiencing a gust capable of causing severe turbulence or aircraft upset.

These aircraft response models require detailed aircraft parameters; therefore, the Exhaust Plume Analyzer provides aircraft parameters for four aircraft types representing light-sport aircraft, light General Aviation (GA) aircraft, business jets, and large jets. Furthermore, advanced users interested in modeling additional aircraft have the option to provide parameters for a user-defined aircraft type

Because the behavior of an exhaust plume depends greatly on the local weather conditions, the Exhaust Plume Analyzer also provides the option for the user to query an external MITRE server for hourly atmospheric conditions at a specific location to accurately portray the likelihood of a severe turbulence or an aircraft upset event.

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