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Global Environmental Impact of Supersonic Cruise Aircraft in the StratosphereWe analyze the climate and ozone impacts of commercial supersonic aircraft using state-of-the-science modeling capabilities ranging from plume to global scale. A scenario-based approach captures variability and uncertainty in the impacts with market adoption, aircraft design choices and regulatory scenarios, focusing on different overland flight restrictions. We find that the notional aircraft considered could attract a market of up to 2.5% of year-2035 seat-kilometers. Overland flight restrictions reduce this market by 80–100%. In comparison to subsonic aircraft, contrails are found to be ∼ 10 times less likely to form behind supersonic jets. A Mach 1.6 jet cruising at 17 km altitude causes 0.85 mDU of depletion per billion seat-km, with 54% of this impact attributable to sulfur emissions and 35% to NOx emissions. As a result, we find a net non-CO2, non-contrail radiative forcing of −0.020mWm−2 per billion seat-km. Long-term adjoint simulations show that net ozone-neutral cruise can be achieved by flying near 14 km, subject to fuel sulfur content and NOx emissions index.
Document ID
20205009400
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Authors
Raymond L Speth
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States)
Sebastian D Eastham
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States)
Thibaud M Fritz
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States)
Ines Sanz-Morere
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States)
Akshat Agarwal
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States)
Prakash Prashanth
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States)
Florian Allroggen
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States)
Steven R H Barrett
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States)
Date Acquired
October 29, 2020
Publication Date
February 2, 2021
Subject Category
Environment Pollution
Report/Patent Number
E-19920
NASA/CR-20205009400
Funding Number(s)
WBS: 110076.02.03.04.20
CONTRACT_GRANT: NNX14AT22A
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Public Use Permitted.
Technical Review
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