NASA to test alternative fuels
April 10, 2014, Washington, D.C. - NASA has signed separate agreements with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) to conduct a series of joint flight tests to study the atmospheric effects of emissions from jet engines burning alternative fuels.
April 10, 2014, Washington, D.C. – NASA has signed separate
agreements with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the National Research
Council of Canada (NRC) to conduct a series of joint flight tests to study the
atmospheric effects of emissions from jet engines burning alternative fuels.
The Alternative Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise
Emissions (ACCESS II) flights are set to begin May 7 and will be flown from
NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif.
"Partnering with our German and Canadian colleagues
allows us to combine our expertise and resources as we work together to solve
the challenges common to the global aviation community such as understanding
emission characteristics from the use of alternative fuels which presents a
great potential for significant reductions in harmful emissions," said
Jaiwon Shin, NASA's associate administrator for aeronautics research.
NASA's DC-8 and HU-25C Guardian, DLR's Falcon 20-E5, and
NRC's CT-133 research aircraft will conduct flight tests in which the DC-8's
engines will burn a mix of different fuel blends, while the Falcon and CT-133
measure emissions and observe contrail formation.
“Cooperation between DLR and NASA is based on a strong
mutual appreciation of our research work,” said Rolf Henke, the DLR Executive
Board member responsible for aeronautics research. “We are very pleased to be
performing joint test flights for the first time, and thus set an example by
addressing pressing research questions in global aviation together.”
ACCESS II is the latest in a series of ground and flight
tests begun in 2009 to study emissions and contrail formation from new blends
of aviation fuels that include biofuel from renewable sources. ACCESS-I
testing, conducted in 2013, indicated the biofuel blends tested may
substantially reduce emissions of black carbon, sulfates, and organics. ACCESS
II will gather additional data, with an emphasis on studying contrail
Understanding the impacts of alternative fuel use in
aviation could enable widespread use of one or more substitutes to fossil fuels
as these new fuels become more readily available and cost competitive with
conventional jet fuels.
Within NASA, ACCESS II is a multi-center project involving
researchers at Armstrong, NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and
the agency's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. This research supports the
strategic vision of NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, part of
which is to enable the transition of the aviation industry to alternative fuels
and low-carbon propulsion systems.
As part of an international team involved in this research,
NASA will share its findings with the 24 member nations that make up the
International Forum for Aviation Research (IFAR). DLR and NRC are participating members of IFAR
and NASA is the current Chair.