Accurate Flight Parameter Reconstruction from ATC Radar Data – A New Approach

Paper #:
  • 1999-01-5605

Published:
  • 1999-10-19
DOI:
  • 10.4271/1999-01-5605
Citation:
Slane, J. and Winn, R., "Accurate Flight Parameter Reconstruction from ATC Radar Data – A New Approach," SAE Technical Paper 1999-01-5605, 1999, https://doi.org/10.4271/1999-01-5605.
Pages:
7
Abstract:
If an airplane crashes, the recorded radar data can be used to reconstruct a time history of the airplane’s calibrated airspeed, load factor, excess thrust, bank angle, etc. Previous work on this problem has used a rectilinear approach to the calculations involved in the flight parameter reconstruction. The rectilinear approach gives excellent results for relatively straight flight; however, it routinely underestimates the airspeed and the bank angle when the airplane is maneuvering. In the present study, the authors present a curvilinear approach to flight parameter reconstruction that addresses this shortcoming. The analysis presented shows that the curvilinear approach is a far superior tool than the rectilinear approach for the reconstruction of maneuvering flight including steep turns and high-speed spirals.
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