Programme Impact on people and society
In this programme, NLR supports people and organisations in the aviation industry, as well as governments and society in general, in dealing with the use and acceptance of (existing and) new technological developments. We help to ensure that airports and their surrounding environment remain in balance.
To make the impact of aviation more transparent, we are investigating new ways of measuring air quality and noise nuisance caused by aircraft, of determining the influence of routes on nuisance and of identifying nuisance-reducing measures. With this, we want to make a positive contribution to the quality of life of those living near airports, and to provide optimum advice to governments. This also includes societal acceptance of drones and Urban Air Mobility (UAM), at the national and international level. With new technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, NLR wants to optimise the collaboration between person and machine in aerospace, to harness the accompanying opportunities so that people can work in an effective and enjoyable way. The programme is subdivided into four subprogrammes:
Climate impact and climate adaptation
This subprogramme focuses on opening up and sharing objective and understandable information about aviation and climate. To do this we collate, analyse and share objective and accurate information about the climate impact of aviation and the options for reducing nuisance. Together with our partners, NLR will develop a toolbox which will include future scenarios (among others), to support governments, airports and airlines in an effective climate adaptation.
We do this by
- sharing objective and relevant information with which consumers, employers and governments can make a conscious decision about the optimum form of transport;
- updating models for noise and emissions calculations;
- advising governments, airports and airlines on measures for climate adaptation.
Aviation and (local) quality of life
NLR wants to provide understandable information and insights into the impact of aviation on the local living environment and the options for targeted reduction of nuisance. To do this, in this subprogramme we will use new techniques to identify the impact of aviation on local air quality and on society in general. We collate, analyse and share objective and accurate information about the climate impact of aviation on the local living environment and the options for reducing nuisance. This concerns, among others, noise nuisance, local air quality, external safety, the impact on privacy and how people experience nuisance We are also developing new methods for gaining better insight into societal acceptance of aviation and the nuisance people experience from it.
We do this by
- developing new methods for describing quality of life and the societal benefits of aviation.
- serving as a knowledge partner of the government, the aviation industry and stakeholder groups, actively contributing to the development of policy for the aviation sector.
Incorporating the third dimension within urban infrastructure
Our cities are becoming increasingly congested. Urban air transport – the so-called third dimension of the infrastructure – may offer a solution. Consider, for instance, the use of drones and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) – passenger transport by air.
In this subprogramme NLR will work towards an optimum balance between the use of urban air transport and the impact of this on the living environment, such as noise nuisance, visual nuisance and external safety. Within this, NLR will concentrate on both the development of tools for measuring nuisance from urban air transport, and on guaranteeing the safety of local residents. We will also work on reducing noise nuisance.
In 2050, it should be possible to transport passengers and products within cities by air, and to undertake surveillance by air. To achieve this, by 2030 NLR will have developed a virtual three-dimensional infrastructure for Dutch cities. We call this future city. In this future city, the same predictive models and tools will be used as those with which we previously optimised the three-dimensional infrastructure in terms of efficiency, nuisance and safety. With this example, society can take a step forward to a future in which the negative impact of aviation has been reduced, urban air transport is partially autonomous through the use of artificial intelligence, and detect and avoid systems protect safety.
Humankind is increasingly reliant on the computational power of computers. Algorithms and technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and extended reality (XR – a mix of virtual reality and augmented reality) offer a wealth of opportunities to support people with all kinds of tasks. It’s important to tailor these forms of support to the person who’s going to use them.
In this subprogramme, NLR wants to optimise the collaboration between person and machine in NLR’s area of expertise (aerospace). We are researching, among others, the effects of technologies like artificial intelligence on aerospace employees, and are drawing up guidelines for the use of innovative technologies in aviation. We put this into practice in (scientific) experiments.
With this, NLR wants to help the Ministry of Defence, other governmental organisations, business and other parties in the aerospace industry to harness the opportunities of new technologies, so that people can work in an effective and enjoyable way.