Jet Engines Alternative Fuels Effects

NASA has signed agreements with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) to conduct a series of joint flight tests to study the atmospheric effects of emissions from jet engines burning alternative fuels. The Alternative Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise Emissions (ACCESS II) flights will be flown from NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif.

Within NASA, ACCESS II is a multi-center project involving researchers at Armstrong, NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and the agency’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. This research supports the strategic vision of NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, part of which is to enable the transition of the aviation industry to alternative fuels and low-carbon propulsion systems.

As part of an international team involved in this research, NASA will share its findings with the 24 member nations that make up the International Forum for Aviation Research (IFAR) (see below).  DLR and NRC are participating members of IFAR and NASA is the current Chair.

“Partnering with our German and Canadian colleagues allows us to combine our expertise and resources as we work together to solve the challenges common to the global aviation community such as understanding emission characteristics from the use of alternative fuels which presents a great potential for significant reductions in harmful emissions,” said Jaiwon Shin, NASA’s associate administrator for aeronautics research.

NASA’s DC-8 and HU-25C Guardian, DLR’s Falcon 20-E5, and NRC’s CT-133 research aircraft will conduct flight tests in which the DC-8’s engines will burn a mix of different fuel blends, while the Falcon and CT-133 measure emissions and observe contrail formation.

“Cooperation between DLR and NASA is based on a strong mutual appreciation of our research work,” said Rolf Henke, the DLR Executive Board member responsible for aeronautics research. “We are very pleased to be performing joint test flights for the first time, and thus set an example by addressing pressing research questions in global aviation together.”

ACCESS II is the latest in a series of ground and flight tests begun in 2009 to study emissions and contrail formation from new blends of aviation fuels that include biofuel from renewable sources. ACCESS-I testing, conducted in 2013, indicated the biofuel blends tested may substantially reduce emissions of black carbon, sulfates, and organics. ACCESS II will gather additional data, with an emphasis on studying contrail formation.

Understanding the impacts of alternative fuel use in aviation could enable widespread use of one or more substitutes to fossil fuels as these new fuels become more readily available and cost competitive with conventional jet fuels.

Source : NASA

Membership in IFAR is open to national aviation research organisations, including universities active in aviation research, which are non-profit and which are owned or mainly funded by public governments and which are charged by the country or countries in which they are located to conduct such research activities on their behalf. One organisation per country is accepted for membership.

Institution URL
Aerospace, Aviation & Defence Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), United Kingdom
Institute of Aeronautics and Space, IAE, Brazil
Aeronautical Research and Test Institute, VZLU, Czech Republic
Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary
Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute, TsAGI, Russia
Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali, CIRA, Italy
Chinese Aeronautical Establishment, CAE, China
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, CSIRO, Australia
CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories, CSRI-NAL, India
French Aerospace Lab, ONERA, France
German Aerospace Centre, DLR, Germany
Institute for Aerospace Research, NRC, Canada
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA, Japan
Korea Aerospace Research Institute, KARI, Korea
Middle East Technical University, METU, Turkey
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, USA
National Aerospace Laboratory, NLR, Netherlands
National Institute of Aerospace Research, INCAS, Romania
National Institute of Aerospace Technology of Spain, INTA, Spain
Polish Institute of Aviation, ILOT, Poland
Swedish Defence Research Agency, FOI, Sweden
Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna), Austria
Technical Research Centre of Finland, VTT, Finland
Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics, VKI, Belgium

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