Theoretical Optimal Trajectories for Reducing the Environmental Impact of Commercial Aircraft Operations
Keywords:Trajectory optimization, Aircraft emissions, Environmental impact.
This work describes initial results obtained from an ongoing research involving the development of optimization algorithms which are capable of performing multi-disciplinary aircraft trajectory optimization processes. A short description of both the rationale behind the initial selection of a suitable optimization technique and the status of the optimization algorithms is firstly presented. The optimization algorithms developed are subsequently utilized to analyze different case studies involving one or more flight phases present in actual aircraft flight profiles. Several optimization processes focusing on the minimization of total flight time, fuel burned and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions are carried out and their results are presented and discussed. When compared with others obtained using commercially available optimizers, results of these optimization processes show satisfactory level of accuracy (average discrepancies ~2%). It is expected that these optimization algorithms can be utilized in future to efficiently compute realistic, optimal and ‘greener’ aircraft trajectories, thereby minimizing the environmental impact of commercial aircraft operations.
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