Accessibility navigation


The role of airspeed variability in fixed-time, fuel-optimal aircraft trajectory planning

Wells, C. A., Kalise, D., Nichols, N. K. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1133-5220, Poll, I. and Williams, P. D. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9713-9820 (2022) The role of airspeed variability in fixed-time, fuel-optimal aircraft trajectory planning. Optimization and Engineering. ISSN 1389-4420

[img]
Preview
Text (Open access) - Published Version
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.

2MB

It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s11081-022-09720-9

Abstract/Summary

With the advent of improved aircraft situational awareness and the need for airlines to reduce their fuel consumption and environmental impact whilst adhering to strict timetables, fixed-time, fuel-optimal routing is vital. Here, the aircraft trajectory planning problem is addressed using optimal control theory. Two variants of a finite horizon optimal control formulation for fuel burn minimization are developed, subject to arrival constraints, an aerodynamic fuel-burn model, and a data-driven wind field. In the first variant, the control variable is expressed as a set of position-dependent aircraft headings, with the optimal control problem solved through a reduced gradient approach at a range of fixed airspeeds. The fuel optimal result is taken as the lowest fuel use recorded. In the second variant, both heading angle and airspeed are controlled. Results from three months of simulated flight routes between London and New York show that permitting optimised en-route airspeed variations leads to fuel savings of 0.5% on an average day (and up to 4% on certain days), compared with fixed airspeed flights. We conclude that significant fuel savings are possible if airspeeds are allowed to vary en route to take optimal advantage of the wind field.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO)
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:104971
Publisher:Springer

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation