Project Description

Supersonic aircraft designs have the potential to be unique from subsonic aircraft in terms of their fuel consumption, noise, and emissions impacts. Unlike previous commercial supersonic engines, which were adapted from military aircraft, or planned propulsion systems derived from current, subsonic commercial engines, a clean sheet engine takes advantage of recent advances in propulsion system technology to significantly improve performance and reduce emissions and noise footprints. This project will develop frameworks for quantifying the noise and emissions footprints of propulsion systems employed on supersonic civil aircraft, integrating models of aircraft performance, engine thermodynamic cycles, and gas turbine combustors. These tools will be used to quantify the performance of a range of engine designs relevant to currently-proposed civil supersonic aircraft and create a roadmap for technology development, prioritizing mitigation of the environmental challenges associated with supersonic aircraft engines.

This project is supporting innovation in aircraft technology by providing a detailed technical evaluation of how the use of a clean-sheet engine design could reduce the fuel burn and noise produced by future supersonic aircraft thus enabling continued aviation growth. It is also providing technical data on how choices in supersonic aircraft engine design affect vehicle fuel burn, noise, and emissions, as well as their interdependencies. The analysis will inform decision makers on what is in the realm of the possible with the use of new technologies and accounting for the unique environment in which supersonic aircraft operate. The work will also demonstrate the limited relevance of information about supersonic aircraft that are no longer in service. This research will show the potential that can be achieved in terms of fuel burn, noise and emissions reductions using technological innovations in modern supersonic aircraft.

Outcomes

  • Create frameworks for quantifying the noise and emissions footprints of propulsion systems employed on supersonic civil aircraft
  • Inform decision making through comparisons of fuel burn, emissions, and noise impacts of clean sheet and derivative propulsion systems for supersonic aircraft
  • Create a roadmap for technology development focusing on reducing the environmental challenges associated with supersonic aircraft engines

Program Managers

Last Updated: 11/05/2019