A new European project – PULSAR (Propelling eUropean Leadership through Synergizing Aviation Research) – kicked off in February 2023 with the purpose of consolidating a European research and innovation (R&I) roadmap in the field of aviation noise and emissions. This ambitious project will deliver aviation noise and emissions research and educational roadmaps and recommendations to the R&I community and policymakers. It will also provide the civil society with information about aviation research, while taking into consideration the regulatory framework as well as the environmental expectations of the European citizens.
The kick-off meeting of PULSAR took place between 6 and 7 February, in Paris, and it gathered the project partners, as well as the Project Officer from CINEA, representatives from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) and representatives from the Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking. The PULSAR project consortium is formed of 12 partners: ONERA – the French Aerospace Lab (project leader), SAFRAN Aircraft Engines, Airbus, DLR – German Aerospace Centre, NLR – Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre, Anotec, Airport Regions Council, Erdyn Consultants, Manchester Metropolitan University, Rolls-Royce plc, Rolls-Royce Deutschland, and the University of Southampton.
PULSAR has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe Research and Innovation programme under grant agreement No 101095395. The goal of PULSAR is to help European policymakers identify key aviation research efforts that must be carried out until 2050 and beyond with respect to aviation noise and emissions, in the framework of the EU environmental objectives. PULSAR has a total budget of 2 million EUR over a total duration of 48 months, and it is managed by CINEA (European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency), the European Commission agency responsible for the implementation of projects contributing to decarbonisation, and sustainable growth.
Given the current context of regaining EU strategic autonomy and attractiveness, the aviation sector must anticipate the need for new skills, education, and qualified human resources to tackle environmental issues, future innovations, and regulations. Moreover, citizens and stakeholders express more and more their concerns about the environmental impact of aviation and call for traffic limitations. They need to be better informed about the aviation sector’s challenges and innovations to address climate concerns, and emissions and noise impacts at airports, but also their concerns need to be better acknowledged to improve quality of life. Therefore, PULSAR aims to connect the European aviation R&I roadmap for noise and emissions with education and skills, and to further communicate the European aviation R&I to citizens and relevant stakeholders.
The PULSAR results will be compiled in two major deliverables:
European Environmental Research Roadmap: A roadmap on the research efforts needed to develop solutions and enablers that can be fed into Strategic Agendas on Noise, Emissions, CO2 and non-CO2 emissions, and Sustainable Aviation Fuels. This roadmap will be instrumental in helping policymakers to target available funding with the EU research and policy goals.
PEFEA (PULSAR Education Framework for Environmental Aviation): a web-based tool providing postgraduate students, early career researchers and young scientists or engineers with resources to help them identify their education needs in Sustainable Aviation, and map these needs to available postgraduate and lifelong learning/training courses or events provided by Higher Education Establishments (HEE). PEFEA will also include an education roadmap which will allow HEE to guide and adapt the content of their courses to the needs of industry in terms of skills and to the needs of EU, considering the necessity for environmentally friendly technologies and solutions.
The whole outcome will be disseminated through the EPEA (European Platform for Environmental Aviation): a multilingual web-based platform giving account of the aviation societal and environmental issues and of the associated research efforts, enriched with reports of feedback from events organised with citizens. The impact of PULSAR is therefore, twofold: showcasing the effort made by the sector, but also engaging citizens in a process aiming to lead to a shared understanding of the environmental challenges posed by aviation and on the ways to cope with them. In this way, citizens will have more insights into the efforts done by the European aviation sector, its future challenges, and priorities, and have the chance to give and share their opinion about these challenges and their expectations.