Less noise and better fuel efficiency during approach
The approach to an airport runway is a real challenge for pilots: reducing speed, extending flaps and speed brakesand much more – all with as little noise and fuel consumption as possible. Moreover, air traffic control restricts the approach profile, and weather conditions are sometimes only vaguely known. In short, in addition to wind and other factors, the skills of the flight crew are a key factor in determining how well an approach meets all these requirements.
To optimize this process, the DYNCAT project led by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) aims at enabling environmentally friendly and more uniform flight profiles. Particularly during the approach, by helping pilots configure the airplane efficiently – and at the same time land in a fuel-efficient manner: This involves dissipating the jet’s potential and kinetic energy through aerodynamic drag, which in turn can be adjusted through the configuration of the airplane. Ideally, this means an approach without increasing thrust, which would add energy to the airplane – by using extra fuel – and generate more noise.
New assistance functionsAs part of the project, the team developed new on-board system functions that support pilots during the approach – with recommendations that pilots then choose to follow or ignore. These include optimized flap and landing gear settings to reduce noise and fuel consumption – finely tuned to the complex interaction of all factors and requirements. To demonstrate the ability of these functions to reduce noise and CO2 emissions, simulator flights were conducted with experienced pilots at the Thales aviation group in Toulouse.
The approach target: Zurich Airport, runway 14. In the chosen situation, the air traffic controller instructed the pilots to take a lateral shortcut during the descent, which leads the airplane into a so-called over-energy condition. This means that it has excessive potential and kinetic energy that must be dissipated during the approach to landing – but without creating unnecessary noise and consuming more fuel. This is a particularly difficult situation for pilots, where various strategies are possible.
Advantages made visible on film
Researchers from Empa’s Laboratory for Acoustics / Noise Control have illustrated the effects of the assistance system in a video (see below): It shows the acoustic impact of two comparable flights – one with the assistance of DYNCAT and a reference flight without. The aircraft noise model sonAIR, developed at Empa, calculated the noise level of the two flights on the ground – quantifying the benefits of the new system.
In general, the simulations and calculations showed that approaches using DYNCAT are quieter and consume less fuel. In the case of the two variants in the video, the “DYNCAT flight” consumed 55kg less fuel from the beginning of the descent and was up to four decibels quieter – a substantial relief. Despite high demands for climate-friendly and low-noise flying, some of which are contradictory, DYNCAT made it possible to achieve both goals more effectively.
Simulations and analyses: results of the research project on video
The video on Youtube can be found under the following link:
About the project
DYNCAT (short for: DYNamic Configuration Adjustment in the Terminal Manoeuvring Area) is a collaborative project with partners at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Braunschweig site, the French THALES Group, the Swiss SkyLab Foundation, the Swiss International Air Linesand Empa. The project is funded by the SESAR Joint Undertaking under the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. DYNCAT started in mid-2020 and will run until the end of 2022.
All latest news from the category: Transportation and Logistics
This field deals with all spatial and time-related activities involved in bridging the gap between goods and people, including their restructuring. This begins with the supplier and follows each stage of the operational value chain to product delivery and concludes with product disposal and recycling.
innovations-report provides informative reports and articles on such topics as traffic telematics, toll collection, traffic management systems, route planning, high-speed rail (Transrapid), traffic infrastructures, air safety, transport technologies, transport logistics, production logistics and mobility.
A mysterious blue molecule will help make better use of light energy
Researchers at IOCB Prague are the first to describe the causes of the behavior of one of the fundamental aromatic molecules, which fascinates the scientific world not only with its…
Let it flow: recreating water flow for virtual reality
The physical laws of everyday water flow were established two centuries ago. However, scientists today struggle to simulate disrupted water flow virtually, e.g., when a hand or object alters its…