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Preprints, Working Papers, ... Year : 2023

Effects of atmospheric stratification and jet position on the properties of early aircraft contrails


The net impact of aircraft contrails on global climate change is a matter of controversy today. Among the many parameters potentially influencing this issue, the role played by the aircraft wake has received only little attention so far. Yet the interaction between the jets causing these contrails and the aircraft wake leads to large modifications in the contrail's altitude (ranging in hundreds of meters). This change in altitude heavily influences the net impact of contrails to global climate change, since the related change in temperature affects the ice content and the radiative properties of these contrails. This vortex entrainment strongly depends on the relative positioning of the jet with respect to the tip vortices. Furthermore, after the formation of the tip vortices and the turbulent diffusion of the jet, the jet dispersion is also driven by buoyant forces associated with atmospheric stratification. Here we focus on the vortex entrainment and buoyancy effects by running a large number of two-dimensional simulations, scaled by the Brunt-Väisälä frequency and jet to tip vortex spacing, of the flow from the aftermath of the jet turbulent diffusion, vortex roll-up and initial ice formation up to the vortex destabilization stage. The very near wake dynamics are not simulated and instead replaced by an analytical description for the vortex, the jet and the ice plume. Ice water content is determined from the offset to ice saturation, given prescribed ambient conditions. The jet lateral spacing is considered in the range from fuselage to wing tip. The potential radiative impact of the early wake is calculated using the total extinction induced by the ice plume. The results are indicative of the impact of older contrail cirrus clouds, the largest proportion in the whole contrail radiative impact. The parametric mapping (stratification, jet spacing) highlights the important role played by the jet position on the opacity of early contrails, for regular stratification levels. In particular, a jet located closer to the wing tip results in contrails located at lower altitudes and reduced optical thickness, suggesting that jet positioning could be an interesting mean of contrail mitigation. Eventually the results also explain several real life observations.
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hal-04026085 , version 1 (13-03-2023)




  • HAL Id : hal-04026085 , version 1


Pierre Saulgeot, Vincent Brion, Nicolas Bonne, Emmanuel Dormy, Laurent Jacquin. Effects of atmospheric stratification and jet position on the properties of early aircraft contrails. 2023. ⟨hal-04026085⟩
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