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The Utility of TAMDAR in the NextGen-Oriented CLEEN Program

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Tuesday, 25 January 2011
The Utility of TAMDAR in the NextGen-Oriented CLEEN Program
Neil A. Jacobs, AirDat LLC, Morrisville, NC; and M. Croke, P. Childs, Y. Liu, X. Y. Huang, and R. DeJong

One of the stated goals of the Next Generation Air transportation System (NextGen) is to increase the airspace system capacity by reducing significant community noise and air quality emissions, while also reducing aviation greenhouse gas emissions and impacts on the global climate.

The Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise (CLEEN) program is a joint FAA-industry program to accelerate the development and maturation of aircraft and engine technologies that reduce noise and emissions and improve fuel burn. AirDat is collaborating with GE, Lockheed Martin, Alaska Airlines, and the FAA to develop technologies to meet NextGen environmental goals beginning in 2015.

The Tropospheric Airborne Meteorological Data Reporting (TAMDAR) sensor measures humidity, pressure, temperature, winds aloft, icing, and turbulence, along with the corresponding location, time, and altitude from built-in GPS. These observations are transmitted in real time to a ground-based network operations center via a global satellite network. The data collected by the TAMDAR sensors, as well as the analysis and forecast grids from the NCAR-AirDat 4-D modeling systems, will provide some of the key metrics required to enable participating aircrafts to reduce their fuel consumption and environmental impact by optimizing their flight paths. The ideal descent profile is a function of wind, temperature, speed of that aircraft, airframe type and weight, engine type, and general weather conditions. The Continuous Descent Arrival (CDA) is an optimized glide slope based on a constant descent, with low (or idle) engine thrust, from cruise altitude to touchdown. This enables CDAs to dramatically reduce fuel burn, noise, and greenhouse gas emissions compared to a conventional descent.

An introduction to the meteorology aspect of the CLEEN demonstration, as well as expectations and program progress will be discussed.