Environmental Design Space

Project Category: 
Interdependencies and policy assessment
Project Number: 

EDS is a numerical simulation based on physics that is capable of estimating source, certification, and single event level noise, exhaust emissions (fuel burn and NOx), and performance for potential future aircraft designs under different technological, operational, policy, and market scenarios. The primary focus of EDS is future aircraft designs, which includes technology modifications to existing aircraft such as advanced airframe configurations or advanced and hybrid-electric propulsion. EDS is also capable of analyzing existing aircraft designs (current technology levels), including the simulation of existing aircraft with higher fidelity than is possible using existing noise and emissions tools and inventories. This is accomplished through the use of a multi-fidelity and modular framework that allows for inclusion of higher fidelity modeling, such as advanced CFD and finite element calculations when necessary. EDS is linked to the Aviation Environmental Tools Suite by providing validated existing and future aircraft design characteristics to AEDT and APMT-E.


EDS was developed for use with US Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) advanced technology goals analyses and to support the future International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) analyses. EDS was extensively used in the CAEP/9 and CAEP/10 work cycles during the development of the aircraft CO2 standard metric system development. The EDS tool has also supported the assessment of technology development funded under the FAA Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise (CLEEN) program to quantify the system wide fuel burn, noise, and emissions impact of associated technologies. Additionally, EDS is used to support the design and assessment of advanced aircraft and engine concepts in support of NASA. EDS is intended for use in conjunction with both APMT-E and AEDT; and also with the fleet-wide screening tool GREAT (Global and Regional Environmental Aviation Tradeoff).


The framework of EDS was originally developed under NASA funding in the late 1990;s and early 2000 and was formalized into what is now known as EDS under PARTNER in 2005. The original EDS Development Team consisted of the Georgia Institute of Technology under the sponsorship of the FAA/ Transport Canada/ NASA- sponsored PARTNER Center of Excellence. Ongoing development of EDS is under the sponsorship of NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. 

Rapid Fleet-wide Assessments

As a complement to EDS, a pair of fleet-level tools has also been developed. Designed to assess the system-wide impacts resulting from the implementation of vehicle-level technology improvements, the Global and Regional Environmental Aviation Trade-off (GREAT) tool synthesizes forecasted operational activity growth, fleet composition evolution, and aircraft-level performance estimates to project fleet-level fuel burn and emissions over time. With its efficient computational algorithm, GREAT can be executed in batch mode to explore multiple scenarios and produce visualizations that highlight the relative contributions of various subsets of the fleet.
The Airport Noise Grid Integration Method (ANGIM) was developed in parallel with GREAT to enable rapid calculation of airport-level DNL contours. By leveraging SAE-AIR-1845 standards to pre-calculate a repository of single-event aircraft grids, ANGIM efficiently pairs airport flight schedules and runway layouts to rapidly produce airport-level DNL decibel grids with runtimes on the order of seconds per airport. Users can plot any contour level desired and measure contour areas and shapes. Population exposure counts can be quickly estimated by overlaying these DNL grids on airport-level population grids derived from 2010 Census-block data using a proportional area-weighted scheme. Recent research efforts have paired ANGIM with GREAT’s schedule forecasting to produce similar visualizations of changes in contour areas and population exposure over time.
Both GREAT and ANGIM are designed to accept EDS project aircraft as inputs. Both tools maintain flexibility to accept aircraft designs from other vehicle-level design tools as well, provided they adhere to established standards such as those presented in SAE-AIR-1845 and BADA documentation.


U.S. government use of EDS, GREAT, and ANGIM is through the FAA Office of Environment and Energy. There are currently no plans to release EDS, GREAT, or ANGIM to the general public.


Supporting the International Civil Aviation Organization/Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection, the Joint Planning and Development Office, and FAA decision-making by developing the Environmental Design Space integrated modeling tool for assessing future Vehicle Trade Spaces.

Participating university

Georgia Institute of Technology

Lead investigators

Dimitri Mavris, Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology, dimitri.mavris@ae.gatech.edu
Michelle Kirby, Georgia Institute of Technology, michelle.kirby@aerospace.gatech.edu

Project manager

Joseph DiPardo joseph.dipardo@faa.gov