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NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility Mission Researches Noise

Advanced Air Mobility Aircraft hovering over an urban center
Several projects supporting NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility, or AAM mission, are working on different elements to help make AAM a reality. One focus area is developing design tools manufacturers can use to reduce noise impacts.
NASA Graphics/Alex Gulino

Read this feature in Spanish here.

When the public thinks about the addition of drones, air taxis, or new cargo delivery aircraft, noise is a common concern. Will these aircraft buzz over housing areas? Add to noise pollution? NASA is working to help make sure when these innovative new aircraft join the airspace, they are quiet.

NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility mission is developing design tools that manufacturers can use to reduce noise impacts. The Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) project and Revolutionary Vertical Lift Technology project work together to conduct testing with industry partners. The data NASA collects and analyzes from these tests with electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOLs) will ensure that the agency’s aircraft design tools correctly predict noise levels for these types of vehicles. With tools that predict noise correctly, manufacturers can design vehicles for quiet operation in urban and rural areas.

The data will also help define and optimize AAM routes and low-noise flight paths for community needs and assist the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in creating policy. Lessons learned through these tests will inform the FAA’s ongoing work with operations and airspace integration.

The AAM mission includes multiple projects working on different elements that will help make AAM a reality. This includes work on automation, noise, vertiport and vehicle design, and airspace design to keep everyone safe while flying in the skies together. Government agencies, industry, and the public, will need to combine their efforts to build new highways in the sky.

NASA’s vision is to map out a safe, accessible, and affordable new air transportation system alongside industry partners, community partners, and the Federal Aviation Administration. Once developed, passengers and cargo will travel on-demand in innovative, automated aircraft across town, between neighboring cities, or to other locations typically accessed today by car.

NASA’s vision for Advanced Air Mobility, or AAM, is to map out a safe, accessible, and affordable new air transportation system alongside industry partners, community partners and the FAA. An important aspect of integrating AAM into the airspace is noise research. In this episode of NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility Playbook, Revolutionary Vertical Lift Technology project manager Susan Gorton explains the importance of mitigating vehicle noise and how NASA’s research will help inspire quiet and less disruptive vehicles.