Aircraft manufacturers are always trying to make their devices as efficient as possible. To do this often use computer simulation models and also the famous wind tunnels, but both mechanisms appear to be insufficient and not entirely accurate when it comes to try to offer an identical situation to that would be presented in a real flight.
To assist in this task the German Aerospace Center has used a technique in actual flight in which a particularly bright lasers emitted from test flights are planned specially equipped on the wings of Airbus 320 aircraft. That allows light, record and study the behavior of water droplets which are moved by the wings, which could be keys to improving the design and construction of more efficient aircraft.
The images captured by two high speed cameras allow you to display these water droplets – and therefore the air flow moving the pusher, which in turn results in more accurate and realistic than the simulation of data. The technique, called Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) also allows researchers to compare the actual air flow in flight with simulations to adjust the latter and find out if the computer models are well calibrated.
The team in charge of this project is focusing on the flight of the aircraft just before landing, when the flaps are deployed well as more noise is generated. If this technique helps to improve the design of these aircraft, noise in areas near airports could be reduced appreciably, but would also fuel consumption.