Volume 35, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0263-5046
  • E-ISSN: 1365-2397


This paper discusses the difficulties related to aircraft landing evaluation as a result of pairing of data collected on board and the determination of plane-runway touches. Today’s on-board sensors provide data that is hard to connect with exact landing styles and resulting deformations. Passive seismic can provide valuable tools, because it has the ability to measure the runway vibrations that are proportional to the plane deformations. Even the style of the landing (symmetrical v. asymmetrical) can be caught by distributing more sensors along each side of the runway. Although it is an available and widely used method, it seems that passive seismic has only a small value for a plane landing evaluation today. The difficulties are resulting from the requirement on the runway homogeneity, a frequent runway calibration or noisy effects that will particularly affect the quality of soft landing seismograms. For passive seismic to become a valuable tool, five stages of its implementation are proposed. Aircraft landing is a critical part of every flight (Figure 1). A hard landing can lead to hidden damage that can put the people on board in danger in the following flights. The question is whether it would be useful to evaluate the quality of landings via runway vibrations instead of sensors on board and invest money in long-term tests. The use of seismic sensors in various branches of industry has been spreading over the past decades. They are used for measuring vibrations of bridges, highways or buildings. They are often used in vibroseis trucks for geophysical measurement. The shape of their sweep vibrations is controlled (Tellier et al., 2015). This paper deals with a reverse problem. The vibrations generated by aircraft landings cannot always be controlled. Thus the runway seismic properties have to be well known. There exist recent patents on real-time road or runway conditions monitoring (Friedlander and Kraemer, 2014; Hagelin et al., 2014). Other issues such as the use of residual vibration energy from air wake for production of electricity have been discussed (Agarwal and Ali, 2013). This paper is intended to provoke a discussion about the entry of real-time passive seismic monitoring to the field of airports.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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