Research

eco DESIGN for sustainable aircraft concepts

Depending on their range of applications, aircraft can attain a service life of up to 30 years. In view of these long life cycles, assessment accompanying the development process of design options represents an important step toward systematically and sustainably reducing the ecological impact of aircraft. Suitable designs, materials, processes, and technologies can already be quantitatively analyzed and optimized in the design phase by means of an eco DESIGN approach based on Life Cycle Assessment.

To integrate these results into the design process, an eco DESIGN tool adapted to the aviation sector with an intuitive user interface was developed that enables aircraft developers without comprehensive knowledge of Life Cycle Assessment to calculate and compare the ecological impact of design alternatives.

The required models are drawn up by LCA experts in projects and in cooperation with protagonists of the aviation industry. The analyses are based on the Life Cycle Assessment software GaBi along with databases that are constantly extended by the specific materials, and production and processing methods of the aerospace industry. The eco DESIGN tool makes the necessary expertise available for the preparation of complex Life Cycle Assessment models for the developers and extends the area of application of Life Cycle Assessments.