Sustainable Transportation & Energy Systems

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Georgia Tech aerospace engineering students and faculty are leading efforts to bring critical aerospace transport systems to a more sustainable level, with the goal of improving their environmental, climate and societal impacts. We are working with industry, NASA, FAA and other governmental partners on systems that range from urban mobility to space transportation.

Leveraging expertise in advanced experimental and computational methods, our combustion researchers are providing the improved understanding necessary to reduce NOx and soot emissions in advanced aircraft turbine engines, as well as expand combustor operating pressures to improve engine efficiency and reduce fuel consumption. Furthermore by studying how fuel properties impact combustor performance, they are providing the insight necessary to develop sustainable fuels that can be employed in existing jet engines.

Our research teams are also developing sophisticated systems analysis tools to assess the impact of new engine architectures, advanced technologies, and  novel operational  paradigms on air transportation sustainability.  For example, we have examined new types of regional and VTOL aircraft employing electric and hybrid-electric propulsion systems for more sustainable urban air mobility systems. In addition, the efforts of our researchers have been instrumental in changing both the theory and the practice of flight procedure design in order to develop  more sustainable operational practices.

Leveraging our unique experimental capabilities, we are working to increase the performance and utility of high-power electric propulsion systems for space vehicles.  Replacing current in-space propulsion systems with advanced, high specific-impulse devices reduces vehicle mass, and therefore the environmental and climate impact of their launch systems.