Role of innovation and digital technologies in achieving aviation netzero

The global aviation industry has committed to achieving net-zero flying by 2050. However, the path to reaching the goal is complex, with innovation serving as a crucial solution. Aviation accounts for at least 2% of global CO2 emissions, according to the International Energy Agency, and these emissions have a significant impact on global warming due to their high-altitude release.

Companies are exploring various advances like hydrogen combustion, electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft, and Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). Achieving cost-effective decarbonization requires transparency, adaptability, and a clear distinction between short-term and long-term initiatives.

Transitioning to these new fuel and propulsion sources is essential, with airframe efficiency improvements likely to yield savings of 10-20 percent. Optimizing flight paths can also contribute to sustainability and cost-efficiency, making it a focus for operators.

According to her, Capgemini has developed a digital framework augmented with solution accelerators, aligning with Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) framework, a framework widely used in the industry for product excellence and efficient design intent communication for stakeholders across the value chain.

In her view, embracing a culture of experimentation is essential to facilitate the exploration of complex aerospace technologies. Building a strong partner ecosystem is also crucial to know which labs, startups and institutions have the technology and IP to improve designs.

According to her, while the industry is aligned on the key steps for decarbonization, addressing the challenges will require digital technologies to measure, classify and analyse data and leverage AI and ML for further analysis and smart recommendations. Digital engineering can play a key role in speeding up this journey.

Furthermore, digital engineering allows for rapid testing of new concepts, enabling quick iteration and improvement. For example, digital models have been utilized to explore noise reduction using toroidal propellers, facilitating faster development and implementation of noise-reducing technologies.

Tags: CO2 Emission, NetZro, SAF
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