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01 MARCH 2024

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RefMap EU project proposes solutions for reducing the environmental footprint of aviation

Within the RefMap EU-funded project, the vision for sustainable aviation comes into being with tangible goals and specific proposals. In this 3- year project, experts from the broader aviation sector team up to marry the two worlds of Air Traffic Management (ATM) and Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM), focusing their research mostly on the future business models in aviation.

The RefMap multidisciplinary consortium consists of 11 partners, including universities, SMEs and ATM/UAS experts from 8 European countries and aims to reduce the environmental impact of air travel for airlines and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) by creating a digital service that optimises flight trajectories on both micro and macro levels. By using environmental data, such as wind, noise, CO2, and non-CO2 emissions, RefMap's analytics platform will help airlines, airports, and regulators make more eco-friendly decisions. This will lead to stricter evidence-based green policymaking in the aviation sector and the development of new aviation business models in line with the EU's Green Agenda.

The first results of our technical work

RefMap’s UK partner, the University of Salford has completed the first of a series of experiments aimed at understanding the human response to drone noise. The ultimate goal is to develop a model to predict drone noise annoyance and aid the trajectory optimisation of drones to reduce the impact on communities.

Additionaly, RefMap is now able to predict the wind around realistic urban areas which can be used to explore and optimise Urban Air Vehicles (UAV) trajectories, by using a low-fidelity Computational Fluid Dynamics model.

Delft University of Technology together with AgentFly Technologies have been working on it and their teams are already planning the next experimental campaign in Czechia to measure the noise emitted by a wide range of Unmanned Air Vehicles’ operations.


What’s more, the Boeing fuel flow method 2 which computes the emissions along a given trajectory, has been adapted by RefMap’s partner coordinator, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, to consider sustainable aviation fuels at different blending ratios. You can read more about all our work in our dedicated article here.

The RefMap project partners
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