Terrain and manmade structures can affect the level of aircraft noise experienced by people on the ground, often either reducing noise impacts through shielding or increasing noise impacts by reflection. The current version of the FAA’s Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT) has limited capabilities for accounting for these features, making noise prediction challenging. One limitation is the lack of an appropriate means to account for noise reflection from terrain and buildings. A second limitation is that the model’s simplistic approach to account for diffraction from terrain is not well suited for manmade structures. Research is needed to develop modeling improvements that would better account for the acoustical effects of terrain and manmade structures in AEDT and to provide guidance to help airport industry practitioners determine when accounting for terrain and manmade structures is warranted.
The objective of this research is to develop, evaluate, and recommend method(s) to account for aircraft noise reflection and diffraction due to terrain and manmade structures for incorporation in AEDT. The method(s) should account for ground and airborne aircraft operations.