Meteorology, Environment and Aviation
"Aviation interacts strongly with the environment: on the one hand, commercial aviation is influenced by the weather, while on the other hand, aviation-related emissions have a strong impact on the environment. The research unit Meteorology, Environment and Aviation investigates these interactions and many more. The latest developments and achievements in research and development are integrated into the curriculum of the Bachelor’s degree programme in Aviation and in a number of advanced teaching and training programmes."
Dr. Julien Anet, Head of the research unit Meteorology, Environment and Aviation
The research unit
The research unit Meteorology, Environment and Aviation investigates the effects of weather phenomena on air transportation as well as the environmental impact of and on the aviation industry as a whole.
Over the last 30 years, innovation in aeronautical weather products has been modest, even though science has made major improvements in aeronautical weather forecasting, which can now be depicted in far better detail than ever before. This stagnation can be overcome regionally by providing further training to flight personnel (e.g. at airlines, airport operators, and weather forecasting personnel).
Meanwhile, the aviation industry's environmental awareness has increased slowly but steadily in recent years. For instance, new engine emission standards are being implemented (e.g. SAE E31). The CORSIA programme marks the dawn of an exciting new era of CO2-neutral growth for the aviation industry. 72 member states have already committed to the implementation of the CORSIA programme. More recently, public awareness for aviation-related air pollutant emissions in the vicinity of airports and in the aircraft cabin (so-called aerotoxic syndrome) has increased significantly.
Our graduates and customers should be able to navigate their way around this dynamic environment. With our extensive network we can furnish the industry with the latest developments and the necessary knowledge.
The research unit Meteorology, Environment and Aviation is able to offer the following services:
- Measurement, analysis and validation of small and large engine emissions (piston and turbine technology) according to SAE E31 with our SMARTEMIS infrastructure.
- Measurements of bleed air in cooperation with Empa.
- Wind profile measurements with a LIDAR, both for applications in aviation and for finding locations for the use of wind energy. Usually in combination with or giving due consideration to other measurements and weather models.
- Advanced training and education for pilots and dispatch personnel.
The following laboratory facilities are available for consulting work, research & development and teaching:
- SMARTEMIS infrastructure for the measurement of particulate matter and gas phase emissions from engines on test benches or directly from an aircraft.
- Warp node (100+ CPU cores) for weather or large eddy scale modelling.
- Stationary wind LIDAR for the measurement of wind profiles over one location
The following types of projects are carried out in the research unit Meteorology, Environment and Aviation:
- AGEAIR: Monitoring change over time of the characteristics of pollutants of aging large aircraft engines (research & development).
- RAPTOR: Evaluating uncertainties in aircraft nvPM emission measurements, airport air quality models, nvPM health impacts and informing future regulations.
- Acacia: Understanding the impacts of aviation on climate and proposing methods for testing and qualifying mitigation methods
- Evaluation of the measurement quality of novel, compact carbon monoxide sensors as the topic of a Bachelor thesis.
- Estimation of the economic damage sustained by the aviation industry as the result of climate change (also as the topic of a number of Bachelor theses).