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Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

ECAT - Environment-Conscious Aircraft Technology Program

Airlines transport more than 3.7 billion passengers annually, and air traffic volume is projected to continue growing at an annual rate of 4.6% and more than double in size (by a factor of 2.4) over the next two decades.* On the other hand, there are growing concerns about increases in aircraft noise and emissions such as CO2, making the need for aircraft that are both more environmentally friendly and more economical greater than ever. In the field of civil aviation, economic efficiency and environmental performance represent key factors in market competitiveness.

The ECAT program aims to develop and mature advanced technologies that can reduce aviation's environmental impact by making collaborative efforts with industry partners. Major R&D under the ECAT program includes 1) core engine technologies for ultra-high bypass engines, 2) engine noise-reduction technologies, 3) airframe noise reduction technologies for landing gear and high-lift devices, 4) low-drag and low-noise airframe technologies, and 5) technologies for reducing overall weight through expanded use of composite material. The ECAT program will thereby contribute to creating a sustainable and prosperous society and support further growth of the Japanese aviation industry while enhancing its competitiveness.

* Worldwide Market Forecast 2017-2036 and Civil Aviation Market Data Book 2016 published by Japan Aircraft Development Corporation (March 2017)

aFJR (Advanced Fan Jet Research) project

We are planning to undertake joint efforts with the Japanese aviation industry in developing next-generation jet engines with technologies that can increase the environmental compatibility of “fan” and “low-pressure turbine” components, which is a field of expertise of Japanese jet engine manufacturers, helping them to secure firm and expanding roles in design and manufacturing responsibilities associated with international collaborative projects

FQUROH (Flight Demonstration of Quiet Technology to Reduce Noise from High-lift Configurations) project

The purpose of the FQUROH mission is to reduce airframe noise, a large fraction of which comes from high-lift devices (flap and slat) and landing gears, and to verify the feasibility of practical application of airframe noise reduction technologies through flight demonstration.

Eco-wing technology

With emphasis on increasing the environmental performance of airframes, we are developing “Drag reduction technology” and “composite structure design technology”, as well as “System evaluation technology” that can evaluate the performance of an airframe with these technologies.

Green engine technology

To further improve environmental performance of jet engine, we develop and demonstrate technologies that are necessary for core engine and engine noise reduction.