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Job advertisement Postdoctoral resarch : Air traffic impact on climate and optimization

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European Geosciences Union

Postdoctoral resarch : Air traffic impact on climate and optimization

Postdoctoral resarch : Air traffic impact on climate and optimization

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ONERA is the French Aerospace Lab. Its missions :
- Developing and guiding research activities in the aerospace field
- Designing, developing and deploying the resources required to conduct this research
- Disseminating, in collaboration with the authorities or organisations responsible for scientific and technical research, the results of said research at national and international levels; promoting their use by the aerospace industry and, where appropriate, facilitating their application outside the aerospace field.


Toulouse, France


Relevant divisions
Atmospheric Sciences (AS)
Climate: Past, Present & Future (CL)


Entry level

25000 € / Year, Medical insurance included

Preferred education

Application deadline
Open until the position is filled

24 January 2022

Job description

Due to the Green House Gazes (GHG) emissions from aircraft, air traffic contributes to the anthropic Radiative Forcing, responsible for climate change. Even if the aviation CO2 emissions only represent 2.4% of the global anthropogenic emissions, this contribution could increase due to the aircraft traffic growth, about 4.1% per year before the COVID-19 crisis. Moreover, aviation non-CO2 effects (including NOx or other GHG emissions, contrails and contrails-cirrus) are non-negligible as they represent 2/3 of the Radiative Forcing according to Lee et al., 2021 of the total aviation impact.
In the context of decarbonization of all the industrial sectors, aviation should address this issue through new types of engines or airplanes, but also thanks to new flight operations. For example, Matthes et al. (2021) estimate a 30% gain on Radiative Forcing by changing cruise altitude.
In this context, this post-doctorate proposal first consists in the simulations of aircraft trajectories and pollutants emissions (including contrails formation). Secondly, the trajectories will be optimized according to their impact on climate: air traffic simulation, minimization of contrails formation and evaluation of benefit/costs on other pollutants emissions. Trade-off studies on environmental benefits will be conducted (e.g. CO2 and/or NOx emissions vs contrails formation).
The work plan is the following :
- Elaboration of air traffic scenarios and aircraft trajectories; calculation of aircraft and air traffic emissions: CO2, NOx, Sox, VOC, soot, water vapor (using the ATM LAB, an ONERA’s simulator)
- Determination of the airspace control zones where contrails formation can be expected for a given scenario and a given atmosphere state.
- Optimization and recalculation of the trajectories minimizing the climate impact according to a climate metric (defined besides).
This work will be done in close collaboration with CERFACS (climate team) who will use the output of this work in order to assess the climate impact of these scenarios with the climate model ARPEGE-Climat.

Profile and skills required
The candidate should have a PhD degree in a subject of relevance for conducting the project such as air traffic management or applied mathematics and/or Atmospheric and Climate Sciences.
The successful applicant should have the capability to work independently as well as in collaboration with colleagues and students at ONERA. Good knowledge in both written as well as spoken English is a necessity in order to publish in international peer-reviewed journal or conference.

How to apply

Host laboratory at ONERA, Toulouse, France
Department : DTIS – Information Processing and Systems Department
Location (ONERA centre) : Toulouse
Contact : Dr. Claire Sarrat
Phone. : Email :