SONAR - Simultaneous scenario-based optimization of aircraft flight routes and noise assessment

[IMO-Projekt, Forschung, A. M. Tillmann, S. Stiller]

PIs: Prof. Dr. Sebastian Stiller
Researchers: Dr. Andreas M. Tillmann
Funding: German Research Foundation (DFG)
Duration: 2023 – 2025

The project „SONAR - Simultaneous scenario-based optimization of aircraft flight routes and noise assessment“ is part of the Cluster of Excellence „SE²A – Sustainable and Energy-Efficient Aviation“. As an interdisciplinary research center of the Technische Universität Braunschweig, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Leibniz University Hannover (LUH) and the University of Art Braunschweig (HBK), it is the objective of SE²A the investigation of new technologies for a sustainable and energy efficient air transport system.

The emission reductions necessary for reaching the ambitious target of a sustainable air traffic system requires novel aircraft concepts to enter service in the near future. It is expected that future aircraft incorporate novel technologies that allow/require them to fly manoeuvres and trajectories different of aircraft in service today. One important environmental impact of the air transport system is noise. To allow for a reliable noise assessment of such novel aircraft, in the first cluster funding phase of SE²A a multi-fidelity and multi-level computation chain has been developed. Although capable of establishing a high level of modelling accuracy for the noise propagation from sources aboard the aircraft to a receiver on the ground, it lacks the link to a high-quality flight physics and air traffic management simulation. However, this link is crucial to fully exploit the potential of future aircraft to contribute to the reduction of the environmental impact.

Within the project, a closed loop optimization based on noise of the air traffic scenarios involving both, legacy and future aircraft is pursued. Therefore, existing tools for flight dynamics, air traffic management modelling and noise assessment are implemented, coupled and enclosed by an optimization procedure. The ground noise can serve as both, the cost function to be optimized or as a constraint for the optimization of another quantity, e.g. fuel burn. The core research foci are: enabling the existing tools to assess both, legacy and future aircraft and the multi-dimensional optimization problem involving discrete variables and constraints.