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Large-Eddy and Flight Simulations of a Clear-Air Turbulence Event over Tokyo on 16 December 2014

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  • 1 aInstitute of Fluid Science, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
  • | 2 bInformation Infrastructure Department, Japan Meteorological Agency, Tokyo, Japan
  • | 3 cGraduate School of Science, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
  • | 4 dOffice of Society Academia Collaboration for Innovation, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
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Abstract

In this study, a clear-air turbulence event was reproduced using a high-resolution (250 m) large-eddy simulation in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model, and the resulting wind field was used in a flight simulation to estimate the vertical acceleration changes experienced by an aircraft. Conditions were simulated for 16 December 2014 when many intense turbulence encounters (and one accident) associated with an extratropical cyclone were reported over the Tokyo area. Based on observations and the WRF simulation, the turbulence was attributed to shear-layer instability near the jet stream axis. Simulation results confirmed the existence of the instability, which led to horizontal vortices with an amplitude of vertical velocity from +20 to −12 m s−1. The maximum eddy dissipation rate was estimated to be over 0.7, which suggested that the model reproduced turbulence conditions likely to cause strong shaking in large-size aircraft. A flight simulator based on aircraft equations of motion estimated vertical acceleration changes of +1.57 to +0.08 G on a Boeing 777-class aircraft. Although the simulated amplitudes of the vertical acceleration changes were smaller than those reported in the accident (+1.8 to −0.88 G), the model successfully reproduced aircraft motion using a combination of atmospheric and flight simulations.

© 2022 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Ryoichi Yoshimura, ryouichi.yoshimura.s2@dc.tohoku.ac.jp

Abstract

In this study, a clear-air turbulence event was reproduced using a high-resolution (250 m) large-eddy simulation in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model, and the resulting wind field was used in a flight simulation to estimate the vertical acceleration changes experienced by an aircraft. Conditions were simulated for 16 December 2014 when many intense turbulence encounters (and one accident) associated with an extratropical cyclone were reported over the Tokyo area. Based on observations and the WRF simulation, the turbulence was attributed to shear-layer instability near the jet stream axis. Simulation results confirmed the existence of the instability, which led to horizontal vortices with an amplitude of vertical velocity from +20 to −12 m s−1. The maximum eddy dissipation rate was estimated to be over 0.7, which suggested that the model reproduced turbulence conditions likely to cause strong shaking in large-size aircraft. A flight simulator based on aircraft equations of motion estimated vertical acceleration changes of +1.57 to +0.08 G on a Boeing 777-class aircraft. Although the simulated amplitudes of the vertical acceleration changes were smaller than those reported in the accident (+1.8 to −0.88 G), the model successfully reproduced aircraft motion using a combination of atmospheric and flight simulations.

© 2022 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Ryoichi Yoshimura, ryouichi.yoshimura.s2@dc.tohoku.ac.jp
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