New types of aircraft will influence the entire current aviation system and vice versa. In the EXACT project, DLR researcher Kai Wicke is looking at the operational and ecological integration of the new aircraft configurations: "Whether a new type of aircraft is powered by hydrogen, fuel cells or batteries - we take a holistic view of the effects this would have on the entire ecological and aviation system, i.e. on airports, airlines, air traffic control and the atmosphere".
His team develops models for climate impact, noise, and product and energy life cycles. In doing so, environmental impacts as well as investment, operating and maintenance costs are examined. If an aircraft were to be refuelled with hydrogen, special refuelling systems would be required. Batteries would have to be charged, stored and recycled. The requirements of the existing infrastructure for the operation of a new aircraft must be clarified.
In four years' time, a first holistic concept for environmentally compatible air traffic is to be developed. Aircraft engineers, atmospheric researchers and electrical engineers from 20 different DLR institutes are working together to establish valid models and develop solutions.
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