FAA allocates university grants to tackle aircraft noise

An airline jet aircraft passes overhead the city center.
Photo Credit: Salih Sayed via Pexels

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded $19 million to 14 universities across the country as part of the Aviation Sustainability Center (ASCENT). A primary focus of the initiative is to look into methods to reduce aircraft noise.

“Research is the gateway to breakthroughs. With the best minds, we can reduce noise and fly with net-zero emissions by 2050,” said Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen.

FAA Grant allocations

The FAA has listed a number of allocated initiatives and projects as follows.

Noise Reduction for New Aircraft

Examine the potential noise reduction benefits of an over-wing jet engine design concept:
$300,000 to Georgia Institute of Technology. 

Simulate sonic booms in realistic environments to inform the development of noise certification standards for future low-boom supersonic aircraft:
$220,000 to Pennsylvania State University. 

Develop improved supersonic aircraft noise prediction methods:
$850,000 to Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Illinois, Pennsylvania State University, Stanford University.

Noise and Advance Air Mobility Aircraft, Drones and Rotorcraft

Develop noise models for different types of Advanced Air Mobility vehicles:
$315,000 to Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Develop acoustic modeling for Urban Air Mobility vehicles with low noise operations:
$280,000 to Pennsylvania State University. 

Evaluate the noise exposure that could result from large numbers of commercial and private UAS vehicles:
$300,000 to Georgia Institute of Technology. 

Develop noise abatement procedures for helicopters in various phases of flight through computer modeling:
$170,000 to Pennsylvania State University.

Noise and Communities

Assess and quantify if any correlation exists between aircraft noise, sleep, cardiovascular health and mental health: $1,999,608 to Boston University.

Investigate the effects of aviation noise on sleep disturbance: $1,077,621 to University of Pennsylvania.

Estimate if any housing value loss has occurred due to aircraft noise exposure: $300,000 to Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Other environmental considerations

In addition to the noise reduction and exposure studies, other projects focus on sustainable aviation fuel, alternative jet fuel supply chains, engine technology, commercial space and environmental measurement.

Also working on ASCENT projects are teams from Missouri University of Science and Technology, Purdue University, University of Dayton, University of Hawaii, University of North Carolina, University of Tennessee and Washington State University.

“The university teams are creating a new path for the aviation industry and our investments in the research are paying dividends today,” said Assistant Administrator for Policy, International Affairs, and Environment Laurence Wildgoose.

The issue of aircraft noise

Aircraft noise is a longstanding issue in the United States, particularly in areas near major airports. The issue has been a concern for both residents living near airports as well as aviation industry stakeholders.

This can cause a range of negative effects on human health, including hearing loss, sleep disturbance, and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, excessive aircraft noise can impact property values and quality of life in affected areas.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for regulating aircraft noise in the United States. The FAA has implemented several measures to reduce aircraft noise, including the use of quieter aircraft, flight path changes, and noise abatement procedures.

However, these efforts have been sometimes met with mixed success, as some residents continue to experience high levels of aircraft noise.

In recent years, there have been increased efforts to address the issue of aircraft noise in the United States. This has included the establishment of community noise roundtables, increased public engagement efforts by the FAA, and the implementation of new noise reduction technologies.

Find more information about the FAA and its environmental efforts at its Sustainability Gateway Page and its list of action plan accomplishments

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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