Friday, February 17, 2017
Exhibit Hall (Hynes Convention Center)
Sreeram Venkat, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics - North Carolina Student Academy of Sciences, Morrisville, NC
The problem of excessive exposure to aircraft noise has persisted since the dawn of

aviation. The Federal Aviation Administration’s regulations thus require airplanes to make

detours in order to avoid exposing certain cities to high levels of noise, which reduces the

efficiency of the airplanes. Our model seeks to develop a flight path that will maximize

efficiency while minimizing noise production.

In order to model aircraft noise, we built a program on Netlogo. We started by

constructing a simplified case in which all airplanes flew directly toward their destination. Then,

we implemented a modification which avoided excessive noise creation by having the airplanes

fly around cities already exposed to a certain level of noise. While the second method

substantially reduced noise levels, it also decreased efficiency because the airplanes had much

longer flight paths. Our third method combines aspects of the first two by calculating a path that

minimizes the detour distance as well as the noise exposure using a numerical optimization

function on the two variables.

Because the model succeeded in producing an optimal flight path for a randomly

generated landscape, it can be adapted to create flight paths for all airplanes. The most important

factor in determining the optimal flight path is the radius at which the noise from a plane can be

heard. Reducing the noise radius through technological advancements will greatly improve the

efficiency of the optimal flight plan.