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Adapting Life Cycle Impact Assessment Methods for Application in Aircraft Design

Autor(en): A. Johanning, D. Scholz
Zusammenfassung: Minimizing not only costs but also environmental impact becomes more and more important in aircraft design. The environmental impact of future aircraft can be calculated in aircraft design using life cycle assessment. Life cycle assessments are widely used to calculate environmental impacts of products during their life cycle based on the inputs and outputs that the product exchanges with the environment. For most products, these inputs and outputs occur on the ground. In contrast to that the major part of the emissions of an aircraft occurs during cruise in an altitude of several kilometers. If the environmental impact of an emission depends on altitude, this should be considered in a life cycle assessment. Therefore this paper investigates to what extent existing life cycle impact assessment methods consider the effects of altitude-dependent emissions. It is also investigated if existing methods have to be adapted to be able to deal with the special requirements of life cycle assessments of aircraft. The results show that the effects of contrails and aviation-induced cirrus clouds as well as altitude-dependent environmental impacts of NOx emissions are not sufficiently covered by existing impact assessment methods. Therefore it is proposed how existing methods for an altitude-dependent calculation of the environmental impact of those emissions can be integrated into existing impact assessment methods. It is analyzed how this integration affects the results of a life cycle assessment and of aircraft design using the medium range aircraft Airbus A320-200 as reference aircraft and a turboprop aircraft as example. Integrating contrails and aviation-induced cirrus clouds as well as NOx emissions leads to a considerable increase of the environmental impact of aircraft. The calculated total environmental impact of the reference aircraft rises by about 110 %. The percentage of contrails and cirrus clouds on the total environmental impact rises from 0 % to 32 % while that of NOx emissions rises from 8 % to 24 %. The proposed adaption of existing life cycle impact assessment methods allows improving the accuracy of the life cycle assessment results of aircraft. Additionally new effects can be considered in environmental aircraft design optimization concerning, for instance, flight mission profile or emissions that have previously been wrongly rated as safe.
Veranstaltung: Deutscher Luft- und Raumfahrtkongress 2014, Augsburg
Verlag, Ort: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Luft- und Raumfahrt - Lilienthal-Oberth e.V., Bonn, 2015
Sprache: englisch
Format: 21,0 x 29,7 cm, 10 Seiten
URN: urn:nbn:de:101:1-201507202456
Stichworte zum Inhalt: conceptual aircraft design, life cycle assessment
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Veröffentlicht am: 20.07.2015