Tradeoff Between Contrail Reduction and Emissions in United States National Airspace

Neil Y. Chen, Banavar Sridhar, Hok K. Ng
2012 Journal of Aircraft  
This paper describes a class of strategies for reducing persistent contrail formation with the capability of trading off between contrails and aircraft induced emissions. The concept of contrail frequency index is defined and used to quantify the contrail activities. The contrail reduction strategies reduce the contrail frequency index by altering aircraft's cruising altitude with consideration to extra emissions. The strategies use a user-defined factor to trade off between contrail reduction
more » ... nd extra emissions. The analysis shows that contrails can be reduced with extra emissions and without adding congestion to airspace. For a day with high contrail activities, the results show that the maximal contrail reduction strategy can achieve a contrail reduction of 88%. When a trade-off factor is used, the strategy can achieve less contrail reduction while emitting less emissions compared to the maximal contrail reduction strategy. The user-defined trade-off factor provides a flexible way to trade off between contrail reduction and extra emissions. Better understanding of the trade-offs between contrails and emissions and their impact on the climate need to be developed to fully utilize this class of contrail reduction strategies. The strategies provide a starting point for developing operational policies to reduce the impact of aviation on climate.
doi:10.2514/1.c031680 fatcat:6lp35mlq3jc27lon7s5az2aiyu