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MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics Faculty

Professor Ian A. Waitz


Aviation Environmental Portfolio Management Tool

Working with an international team of researchers under FAA sponsorship to develop an aviation system environmental-economic model to better inform national and international policy-making. The model will enable better assessment of the interdependencies between aviation-related noise and emissions effects, and will provide comprehensive cost analyses of aviation environmental impacts under different technology, operations, policy, market and environmental scenarios. Participants include Georgia Institute of Technology Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory, Harvard School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, ICF, BB&C, MVA, Vital Link Policy Analysis, MITRE, Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, and Wyle Laboratories. (Active)
Download general overview (.pdf 392K)
APMT web page with detailed information

Alternative Fuels for Aviation

Sponsored by FAA and DOD to explore the potential to reduce aviation environmental impacts via alternative fuels while taking into account the full lifecycle of these fuels. (Active)

Impacts of Aircraft Emissions on Air Quality and Public Health

Working with researchers at Cambridge University, University of North Carolina, Boise State University, Harvard School of Public Health, Stanford University, and the University of Houston under FAA and other sponsorship to perform air quality simulations and health impacts assessments of aviation emissions. The work includes a study with FAA and EPA of U.S. air quality impacts in response to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, assessments of the impacts of low sulfur and alternative fuels, analyses of the global effects of cruise level emissions, and development of reduced order models for use in policy analyses. (Active)

Environmental Design Space

Working with researchers from the MIT Aerospace Computational Design Lab and Georgia Institute of Technology Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory under FAA sponsorship to develop aircraft system-level tools for assessing tradeoffs and interdependencies among technological and operational strategies for minimizing noise, local air quality and climate change impacts of aircraft. (Active)
Download overview (.pdf 188K)

Chemical and Microphysical Processes in the Turbine, Exhaust Nozzle, and Plume

To aid in assessing the atmospheric effects of current and future aircraft, working with Aerodyne Research Incorporated under FAA, NASA and DOD sponsorship to conduct numerical investigations of the chemistry and microphysics of primary pollutant species, short-lived radicals, and particulate matter, downstream of the combustor, in the turbine, exhaust nozzle, and plume. (Active)
Download overview (.pdf 749K)

The Value of Environmental Technology in Commercial Aviation

Developing probabilistic valuations for comparing aviation climate, noise, and air quality impacts based on uncertain health and welfare impacts and technological and operational performance. (Active)
Download overview (.pdf 1.8 MB)

System for Assessing Global Aviation Emissions

Worked with researchers from the MIT International Center for Air Transportation and the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center through funding from the FAA to develop an internationally-accepted model for assessing emissions from aircraft (SAGE). (Inactive)
Download overview (.pdf 1.1 MB)

Operational Strategies for Contrail Mitigation

Used an aviation system model to assess the costs and benefits of aircraft trajectory and routing changes as a means to reduce contrail and aviation-induced cirrus cloudniness. (Inactive)
Download overview (.pdf 1.6 MB)

The Economic Value of Silence

Worked with researchers from Cambridge University on the Silent Aircraft Initiative to assess the impact of low noise technology and operational procedures on airline financial performance and regional economic performance. (Inactive)
Download overview (.pdf 1 MB)

Robust Aerothermodynamic Design of Gas Turbine Engines

Worked with a group of researchers within the Gas Turbine Laboratory to develop methods for designing gas turbine cycles and components to minimize performance variability in response to operating and manufacturing variability. (Inactive)
Download combustor overview (.pdf 170K)
Download general overview (.pdf 17K)


Conducted experimental and numerical research in micro-scale combustion systems to support the development of a 1mm2 inlet area micro-gas turbine generator using silicon microfabrication technology. (Inactive)
Download overview (.pdf 241K)
Download microengines program overview(.pdf 2.8 MB)

Low Greenhouse Gas Emissions Aircraft

Performed systematic assessments of cost and emissions impacts of future aircraft technologies designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Tools are being developed for use in a global, multiple transport mode context to conduct inter-modal comparisons of relative cost per unit emissions reduction potential for various technologies under different emissions regulation and demand scenarios. (Inactive)
Download overview (.pdf 344K)

High Fuel-Air Ratio Combustor and Turbine Research

Conducted numerical and experimental work to understand unique reacting flow physics and heat transfer effects within very high temperature gas turbine cycles. (Inactive)
Download overview (.pdf 212K)

Reduction of turbomachinery fan noise

Numerical simulations and experiments to investigate the impact of various blade wake management strategies on rotor-stator interaction tone noise. (Inactive)
Download overview
(.pdf 588K)

Ejectors for jet noise reduction

Advanced mixer/ejector devices are being studied both computationally and experimentally to provide insight into basic fluid mechanics and acoustics in an effort to develop design procedures for these devices. (Inactive)
Download overview of experimental studies in a shock tube
(.pdf 131K)

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