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Aviation is a cornerstone of the European Union, contributing significantly to economic growth and job creation. However, the sector faces challenges, including environmental concerns, technological advancements, and a shortage of skilled professionals. PULSAR's primary mission is to assist European policymakers in identifying key aviation research initiatives, particularly those related to environmental goals, regulations, and the expectations of European citizens. We focus on technologies that reduce aviation noise and emissions, addressing climate and local air quality impacts.

Our work

To achieve our mission, we have set clear objectives and defined expected results, monitored through key performance indicators. PULSAR creates scenarios and recommendations assessing the impact of various technologies and measures on noise, emissions, and local air quality. We also establish a comprehensive database of solutions categorized into low noise, low emission, sustainable aircraft fuels, and disruptive technologies. The aim is to communicate these findings effectively to the European Commission and other policymakers, aiming for the approval and integration of this roadmap into future research and innovation work programs.

PULSAR's main goal is to create a roadmap for European Aviation Research and Innovation in environmental aspects. This project follows a method that involves selecting socio-economic scenarios and evaluating technology enablers to determine their potential benefits. The aim is to identify the key technologies that should be developed and included in the roadmap to achieve policy objectives. PULSAR will also provide important information and key messages for stakeholders and policymakers. Additionally, the project's secondary objective is to improve the connection between research and education by analysing gaps in the roadmap.

Beyond the immediate research objectives, PULSAR recognizes the need to align aviation research with education and skills development. We aim to bridge the gap by creating an Aviation Education Roadmap and supporting new courses to train experts in environmental aviation issues. In addition, engagement and communication with civil society are going to be carried out through communication events, a multilingual web-based platform (EPEA), and recommendations to policymakers, to foster understanding and collaboration between the aviation sector and the public. Our ultimate goal is to disseminate our results to relevant end-users, ensuring that our research has a lasting impact on policy, education, and society.

Work Breakdown Structure

Work package breakdown

Defining scenarios and indicators

Airplane Engine

Work package 2 (WP2) focuses on developing scenarios for the future of aviation in Europe based on various social and political assumptions. These scenarios encompass aspects like air traffic volume, airport capacity, technology adoption, and intermodal transportation integration. WP2 also defines a set of metrics and indicators to assess these scenarios, which will help translate political requirements into quantifiable measures, ensuring the evaluation of scenarios aligns with specific objectives.

Enablers screening & selection from national & European projects

Work package 3 (WP3) identifies and compiles a comprehensive list of "enablers" - meaning any technological device, part, or solution that would enable improvements with respect to one or multiple environmental impact(s). These enablers fall into four categories: low noise technologies, low emission technologies, Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), and disruptive technologies. WP3 screens European and national aviation projects, leveraging PULSAR's expertise and network, to create a categorized list of enablers with attributes like Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and environmental impact. This list guides subsequent project phases.

Image by Ashim D’Silva


Image by Bing Hui Yau

Work package 4 (WP4) in PULSAR is the central stage responsible for assessing enablers identified in WP3 within various scenarios, using metrics and indicators from WP2. This assessment involves three phases: a quantitative evaluation focusing on noise, CO2, and non-CO2 emissions, a qualitative appraisal with expert workshops to refine assumptions, and a gap analysis to identify research priorities for meeting regulatory requirements in the scenarios. Ultimately, WP4 guides the update of the Strategic European aviation R&I roadmap to address gaps and scenarios effectively.

Education & Communication

Work package 5 (WP5) has two main aspects. The educational pillar aims to better link European aviation research and education by reviewing aviation noise and emissions curricula, analysing the research roadmap, and identifying educational gaps. The communication pillar has two parts: one for stakeholders, focusing on the research roadmap, gap analysis, and education needs; and the other for the general audience to engage EU citizens and highlight the European aviation sector's efforts, supported by the EU, in addressing environmental challenges.

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