Validating ADS-B Data for Use in Noise Modeling Applications

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Luigi Raphael I. Dy
John H. Mott


Aircraft noise continues to be a major environmental issue impacting airports and their surrounding communities. Beyond being an annoyance, aircraft noise has also been found to have potentially adverse health effects on humans and animals. Thus, international, national, and local regulations have been adopted to quantify, limit, and mitigate aircraft noise. Software developed by the Federal Aviation Administration to estimate the impacts of airport noise relies on operations information that may be difficult to obtain for aircraft operating under visual flight rules at non-towered airports. Hence, leveraging the use of ADS-B as a low-cost source of operations data may improve noise estimation methods at such airports. To validate this approach, ADS-B data was compared to GPS records from aircraft avionics. With an average error of 57.72 feet laterally, 112.36 feet vertically, and 126.32 feet combined, resulting noise estimation errors as a result of ADS-B position errors are expected to be less than seven decibels. It was also found that ADS-B data can be significantly improved by incorporating atmospheric data to improve altitude information, leading to a reduction in estimation errors. The results of this study highlight the potential applicability of ADS-B usage in noise estimation and other applications.

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