Abstract

Flight missions are usually scheduled and managed on safety, cost, and commercial requirements. Depending on the aircraft or helicopter duties, the mission path, in terms of spatial coordinates and altitude, is guided by conditions that consider the scheduled mission’s scope and aim. For example, commercial aircraft transport passengers from two specific airports in a predetermined timetable. Conversely, helicopters for rescue or firefighting operations are employed in harsh conditions without a predetermined timeframe and schedule. In both cases, aircraft interact with the environment, usually contaminated by airborne particles, commonly known as soil and soot. These contaminants are due to the flight route, cruise altitude, take-off, and landing; therefore, they are specific for each aircraft mission. In the present work, the assessment of the airborne contaminant encountered by an aircraft has been proposed. A representative scheduled flight and a life-saving helicopter mission have been taken to propose a methodology for estimating the contamination that occurred to the engine based on the encountered contaminants. The contamination data was inferred by the Cloud-aerosol lidar and infrared pathfinder satellite observations while the flight data from the onboard aircraft transponder. Based on an open database, the methodology shows how contamination occurs over subsequent missions depending on the mutual interaction between route and environment conditions. The assessment of the engine contamination has been proposed in terms of equivalent dose, which is recognized as a helpful parameter to estimate the margin between safe-flight and dangerous-flight regimes.

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