This SAE Aerospace Information Report (AIR) provides information and methods for using aircraft position data to estimate aircraft thrust. The thrust estimated using this AIR is intended to be used to estimate aircraft noise level and aircraft air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The method of estimating aircraft noise level using aircraft thrust is provided in AIR 1845. Aircraft noise and emissions are generally estimated using models that are based on standard sets of aircraft profiles that include aircraft thrust, speed, and altitude along the flight path. Potential uses of this AIR are to provide an experimental method of determining the adequacy of a standard profile or to develop a flight specific profile. Flight specific profiles may be used to develop or revise standard profiles or to model noise or emissions on a flight-by-flight basis. Potential users include: airport noise modelers, airport emission modelers, developers of airport noise and emission models, federal, state and local government agencies, equipment vendors and other public bodies and officials. The information included here is intended to apply to turbine powered aircraft operating at air carrier and general-aviation airports. The information and methods presented here do not apply rotorcraft or propeller driven aircraft. The primary topics addressed in this AIR include identifying sources of aircraft position data, processing aircraft position data into flight segments including data smoothing and dealing with incomplete or erroneous data, identifying flight segments of constant thrust, acquiring winds aloft data for use in computing aircraft airspeed, estimating aircraft bank angle, estimating aircraft weight when not available, and finally, using these data to estimate the aircraft thrust for each segment of constant thrust flight.
Aircraft noise and emissions are a function of aircraft thrust. Aircraft thrust is not directly known to people modeling aircraft noise or emissions. This AIR provides a method of estimating thrust from aircraft position data.