Flying safely requires to know what’s the weather like where you intend to fly – flying between builings is no exception.

Building the required weather information at the required level of granularity might not be trivial. The complexity raises while building this data layer in a scalable and cost effective way.

In a collaborative effort between DM-AirTech and the Technical University of Berlin, the recent study by Ebert et al. titled “A Gappy POD approach to estimate the wind field in an urban environment for air mobility application” has made strides in addressing the complexities of wind field estimation for urban air mobility.

The research utilized a Proper Ortogonal Decomposition (POD) to decompose the complexity of the flow in the specific environement into the most influencial modes and a Gappy reconstruction which enables the wind field to be assembled. 

With this methodology it is possible to make the best out of a few number of sensors, installed in the urban environment. 

The study’s practical implications for UAM are significant. It verifies the feasibility of rapid, accurate 3D wind field estimations essential for the safe and efficient navigation of drones and eVTOLs in urban environments. By reducing the energy consumption of these vehicles through optimized trajectory planning based on real-time wind data, the study contributes to more sustainable and economical UAM operations.

Both methods were trained on CFD simulations and tested against various wind directions and speeds within an urban environment, offering insights into their performance under different atmospheric conditions. The results show that while both methods can swiftly reconstruct wind fields, POD interpolation offers a slight advantage in accuracy.

The collaboration between DM-AirTech and TU Berlin exemplifies the integration of industrial and academic expertise to advance UAM technologies. Such partnerships are crucial in developing solutions that are not only theoretically sound but also viable for implementation within the sector.

As UAM continues to evolve and gets closer to the Urban environment, the necessity to have scalable, economical but safe ways to build the wind and turbulence complexity in the urban environment increases. DM-AirTech will be ready for the challange.  

Link to the presentation: 

A Gappy POD approach to estimate the wind field in an urban environment for air mobility applications.