Infrared intensity of the trailing turbulent surface wake of CFAV QUEST in trial Q300


  1. Daya, Z.A.
  2. Galloway, C.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Atlantic, Dartmouth NS (CAN)
Surface ship wakes are complex, long-lived, coherent structures that are as prominent in the infrared (IR) as they are in the visible. Each of the three components of a surface ship wake, the Kelvin wave system, the white water wake and the trailing turbulent wake are easily observed and can be exploited in detecting, tracking and targeting vessels. In this manuscript, we have analyzed data in the mid-wave IR of the trailing wake of research vessel QUEST. The data consists of images obtained from an airplane on broadside approach to the ship at altitudes of about 30 m and 300 m. We have extracted the peak wake contrast was as a function of distance astern which at both altitudes decreases downstream. The decay observed is initially a gentle decrease crossing over to a steeper power-law with distance. We have suggested that the steeper downstream decay of the peak contrast of the wake in the IR is proportional to the decay of turbulence intensity of a self-similar axisymmetric wake from a self-propelled body.

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infrared signatures;white water wakes;turbulent wake;mid-wave;sea surface reflectivity;airborne IR
Report Number
DRDC-ATLANTIC-TM-2010-175 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Dec 2010
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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