Engineering improvements, technology enhancements and advanced operations have an important role to play in reducing aviation fuel consumption and environmental emissions. Currently several organizations worldwide are focusing their efforts towards large collaborative projects whose main objective is to identify the best technologies or routes to reduce the environmental impact and fuel efficiency of aircraft operations. The paper describes the capability of a multi-disciplinary optimization framework named GATAC (Green Aircraft Trajectories under ATM Constrains) developed as part of the Clean Sky project to identify the potential cleaner and quieter aircraft trajectories.
The main objective of the framework is to integrate a set of specific models and perform multi-objective optimization of flight trajectories according to predetermined operational and environmental constraints. The models considered for this study include the Aircraft Performance Model, Engine Performance Simulation Model and the Gaseous Emissions Model. The paper, further discusses the results of a test case to demonstrate trade-offs between fuel consumption, flight time and NOx emissions that the trajectory optimization activity achieves at a primary level. It thereby forms the basis of a complete reference base-line trajectory which will be used to determine more accurate environmental gains that can be expected through optimization with the integration of more models within the framework in the future.