Climate Change

Global Challenge, Global Solutions: OptiClimb

By utilizing existing black box data, OptiClimb de­term­ines the ex­act aero­dy­namic char­ac­ter­ist­ics of an in­di­vidual air­craft to save up to 10% of fuel consumption during an airplane's most fuel-intensive periods.

“Global Challenge, Global Solutions” is a series hosted on Climasphere highlighting inspiring, innovative, and creative global solutions to the challenge of climate change in the lead up to the next major climate conference, COP22. These solutions have been provided by members of the Earth To Marrakech coalition, a group of more than 50 media organizations, civil society groups, and businesses from around the world who are raising their voices in a collective call to move from words to action on climate change. Let’s send a message, from Earth To Marrakech: The solutions to climate change are out there, and they’re inspiring.


Big Data Fuels Aircraft Energy Reduction

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By util­iz­ing ex­ist­ing black box data, Op­tiClimb de­term­ines the ex­act aero­dy­namic char­ac­ter­ist­ics of an in­di­vidual air­craft, us­ing that data to com­pute more ac­cur­ate and ef­fi­cient speeds and climb pro­files for pi­lots to in­cor­por­ate into the air­craft’s man­age­ment sys­tem. This method al­lows for reductions of up to 10% of the fuel consumption during climb, the most fuel-in­tens­ive part of a flight.

Ac­cord­ing to Safety Line, in­ef­fi­cient sys­tems mean that today 20% of the fuel ded­ic­ated to climb is use­lessly burned. At the same time, air­lines col­lect loads of flight data from their nor­mal op­er­a­tions that are barely used. Op­tiClimb proves that using this data to compute slight modifications can result in valuable energy savings. Transavia, a mem­ber of the Air France KLM Group, is the first air­line to ad­opt Safety Line’s new tech­no­logy.

RELEVANCE OF SOLUTION
Air trans­port is re­spons­ible for 3% of global CO2 emis­sions.1 At a global scale, if air­crafts used Op­tiClimb to re­duce their fuel use by 10% dur­ing climb, the po­ten­tial sav­ings would be nearly 20 mil­lion tons of CO2 each year, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany.

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TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE:

ENVIRONMENTAL
By ad­opt­ing Op­tiClimb, the av­er­age air­craft could save 450kg of CO2 emis­sions per flight.

SOCIAL
Land­ing and take-off ac­count for about one-quarter of the 16,000 an­nual global deaths as­so­ci­ated with air­plane pol­lu­tion. Op­tiClimb can help re­duce the num­ber of these deaths.

ECONOMIC
An ini­tial four-month trial with Transavia showed one air­craft po­ten­tially can save $80,000 a year. With 25 air­craft in its fleet, Transavia can save $2 mil­lion per year.

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