Flight Mechanics, Flight Control and Aeroelasticity

S-WAKE - Assessment of Wake Vortex Safety

The S-WAKE research project, financed by the European Union since January, 1st. 2000, is tasked with broadening the scientific knowledge on the safety of aircraft wake vortex encounters.


Topic of the S-WAKE project is enhanced research of aircraft encountering wake vortices and the influence on flight safety. The project is closely linked with its sister project "C-WAKE", also financed by the EU. Topic of C-WAKE is research on the field of wake vortex generation. An additional related EU-project, I-WAKE, with the topic of wake vortex detection, has been proposed but has not yet commenced. All three projects have been predecessed by the WAVENC project which ended early 2000.

Main Research

Researchwithin S-WAKE focuses on the following topics:

  • Classifying predictable weather classes for wake vortex safety.
  • Research of wake vortex evolution and decay under a variety of weather conditions.
  • Improving the wake vortex encounter modelling.
  • Enhancing flight simulation capabilities and validations e.g. by flight test.
  • Assessment of wake vortex influence on flight safety.
  • Analysis of large amounts of data collected in the vicinity of international airports.
  • others...

Research Activities

Research activities of Flight Mechanics & Control Group within the S-WAKE project include the following:

  • Enhanced physical modelling of wake vortex encounter and deduction of the resulting additional aerodynamic forces and moments.
  • Development of a real-time capable numerical program for enhanced calculation of additional forces and moments due to wake vortex encounter.
  • Linking this enhanced encounter program with different numerical and analytical wake vortex models.
  • Implementation of wake vortex encounter models into multiple flightsimulators used for training and research.
  • Dynamic experiments on the influence of wake vortex encounter by piloted simulation using multiple simulators (Airbus 340/330, Dornier Do228).


Partners of the S-WAKE consortium apart TU Berlin are:

  • National Aerospace Laboratory NLR - Netherlands - Project Co-Ordinator
  • DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH - Germany
  • DaimlerChrysler Aerospace Airbus GmbH - Germany
  • DLR ("Institute of Flight Research" and "Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre") - Germany
  • TU Braunschweig - Germany
  • ONERA - France
  • CERFACS - France
  • Meteo-France - France
  • Instituto Superior Téchnico - Portugal
  • National Air Traffic Services Ltd. - Great Britain
  • Britisch Airways plc - Great Britain
  • Flight Data Company Ltd. - Great Britain
  • UK Meterological Office - Great Britain