Sustainable and Efficient Flight Operations

Foto von A340-300-01-GULF-AIR Maschine

Sustainable and Efficient Flight Operations

The research interest of our institute in the field of air traffic management lies on the investigation of new approaches for the efficient use of airspace, in particular in terms of safety and environmental impact. Due to the upcoming implementation of trajectory based operations in air traffic management, particularly the temporal component of the flight guidance (the so-called 4D trajectory) becomes increasingly important. Here we examine the impact of the implementation of new processes to singular flights, and also on the air traffic system as a whole.

In the area of ​​air traffic management we deal with in detail with:

  • Electric Taxiing and towing of aircraft at airports
  • Emission analyses: noise and pollution
  • 4D flight guidance / performance based operations (PBO)

Electrical towing and taxiing of aircraft

In the context of two closely linked projects in collaboration with industry, the FSR deals with the application and implementation of electric drives for the ground movement of aircraft. A major part of the project is to show that the new technologies and practices can significantly reduce both, emissions and delays during aircraft taxiing and thereby actively contribute to environmental protection and resource conservation at modern airports.

The focus FSR's work is the assessment of the effectiveness of three different technological approaches (eTaxi, eSchlepper and TaxiBot) as well as the analysis of their further automation with respect to an implementation of trajectory-based taxi operations. Furthermore, concrete applications for the respective approaches are examined and future scenarios are derived.

The projects are funded at the FSR by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development in the programme “Modellregion Elektromobilität Rhein-Main” and by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology within the framework of “Luftfahrforschungsprogramm”.

© FSR TU Darmstadt

4D flight guidance / performance based operations (PBO)

Programs such as SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) and NextGen (Next Generation Air Traffic Management) deal with the development of systems, processes and procedures for the future ATM system Within this framework, the so-called 4D trajectory is of great importance: an aircraft has to follow a preplanned trajectory not only in space (3D), but also in time (+1 D) as accurately as possible. Conventional flight guidance systems are only partially suitable for this task.

The work of the FSR in this area include the development of a retrofit trajectory management system based on an Electronic Flight Bag, which enables negotiation and monitoring of the 4D trajectory and gives the pilot assistance in conducting the flight. The developed system has been validated in the simulator of the Institute and in the context of various flight test campaigns and proved its suitability for the application under realistic conditions.

© FSR TU Darmstadt

Emission Analyses

Due to the growing air traffic, more environmentally friendly approach- and departure procedures move into focus. Especially the population in the vicinity of airports must be relieved in terms of noise and pollution.

The Institute has already gained expertise through various works and projects in the field of emission analyzes. The focus of the emission analysis of FSR lies on the calculation of noise levels: single event level (L_E), maximum level (l_max) and continuous noise [after ECAC.CEAC Doc. 29]. With the help of the FSR own noise tool, a comparison of two flight paths can be mapped directly. Thus, it is possible to make e.g. statements regarding noise emissions of a newly introduced method against an established one.

Subset of Current Projects in the Field of Sustainable and Efficient Flight Operations

ZETO (2014-2017)

The project ZETO investigates an innovative approach for enabling future trajectory-based taxi operations by the integration of automated tractors. More…