News Published: 26 Sep 2018

Aircraft noise: an emerging environmental issue

Prof. Umberto Iemma from the University Of Roma 3 is a key partner of ANIMA. He also leads AERIALIST, a sister project

September 26, 2018

The noise produced by civil aircraft can cause big problems for citizens because these noise emissions feature complex spectrum-related characteristics, which make it hard for us to get used to them. People living close to airports (which are currently experiencing a local boom, owing to the commercial strategy of low-cost flights) perceive these noises like a real nuisance and the number of people suffering from different types of problems caused by aircraft noise is on the rise.

The European Union is addressing the issue, with an integrated programme of measures that involves considerable investments in scientific and technological research, which is arousing great interest around the world. The Aeronautical Engineering research group at the Engineering Department of Roma Tre University actively takes part in the programme, participating in many research projects. It is partner, among others, of three projects funded under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme that deals with the aircraft noise problem from different, but complementary, standpoints: ANIMA (Aviation Noise Impact Management through Novel Approaches, no. 769627), ARTEM (Aircraft noise Reduction Technologies and related Environmental Impact, no. 769350) and AERIALIST (AdvancEd aicRaft-noIse-AlLeviation devIceS using metamaterials, no.723367).

“ANIMA is the one that aims at improving the quality of life of communities living in proximity of airports by mitigating the impact of perceived noise in psycho-acoustic terms, while ARTEM focuses on the integration of highly innovative technologies on aircraft, to be implemented from now to 2050. AERIALIST is a fundamental research project and focuses on the use of metamaterials for the development of highly innovative technologies that can reduce noise radiation,” says Professor Umberto Iemma, responsible of the projects for Roma Tre. “We act as liaising agents between the field of project design/technological development and the field that assesses the impact on citizens and devise sustainable air transport solutions.

ANIMA includes an ambitious project: creating planning tools that take into account the perceptive aspects of the individual citizen, which may also be used by non-specialists. It is, therefore, necessary to consider the entire stakeholder chain, involving politicians, land planning authorities, airports’ management and airlines. The first two projects both feature a broad partnership: 22 partners for ANIMA and 24 for ARTEM, for a budget of € 7.5 million each. A smaller group, coordinated by Roma Tre, is working on AERIALIST. It is a fundamental research project that attempts to adopt a concept that is relatively consolidated in environmental acoustics to the sphere of aeronautics. It comprises all the validation activities a researcher could possibly want: from theoretical development to the actual manufacturing of the materials and the final tests in the wind tunnel”.