NASA and DLR conducting flight tests on alternative fuel emissions

January 14, 2018 |

In Germany, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are set to conduct joint research flights in Germany for the first time. The focus will be on alternative fuel emissions and the characterization of ice crystals in condensation trails, using biofuel as an example.

The first joint DLR/NASA flights, which were conducted from Palmdale, California in 2014, showed that adding 50 percent alternative fuel for cruising flight reduces the soot particle emissions of an aircraft engine by 50 to 70 percent, compared to the combustion of pure kerosene. The planned research flights are intended to determine particle emissions and how they affect cloud formation through contrails, thus investigating their impact on the climate.

From 14 January 2018, NASA’s DC-8 research aircraft will visit Germany for three weeks and fly together with the DLR A320 Advanced Technology Research Aircraft (ATRA). For the international research mission, the DLR A320 ATRA will fly using various fuel blends, while NASA’s fully instrumented DC-8 ‘flying laboratory’ will follow at a safe distance, measuring soot particles, gas emissions and ice crystals in ATRA’s exhaust gas stream.

 

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Category: Research

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