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AEROMAT – Use of Innovative Technologies, Materials and Models in the Aeronautical Field


The Project
AEROMAT Use of Innovative Technologies, Materials and Models in the Aeronautical Field involves the development of innovative technology solutions in the fields of environmental modelling applied to aviation, construction materials and devices used in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), with specific reference to the airports of Catania, Comiso, Reggio Calabria and Naples. Issues affecting the aeronautics sector include the impact that phenomena such as volcanic ash clouds, suspended desert dust and extreme weather events have on airport infrastructures. In addition to these, there is the impact of these phenomena on the materials used and, at higher altitudes, the issues related to the exposure of electronic devices to ionizing radiation. With the aim of improving the quality of forecasts for airspace and volcanic ash deposition, the project involves the development of an integrated modelling system aimed at providing data to optimize airport operations when these phenomena occur. This system will integrate volcanological data with meteorological data predicted by high resolution models in order to obtain predictions of dangerous atmospheric phenomena such as hail, turbulence and wind shear, and quantitative estimates on the transport of fine dust, desert sand and volcanic ash in the atmosphere and as deposits on the ground. The software developed will be submitted to the Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) for aeronautical certification.

Financial Resources
The 42-month project was financed by the NOP Research and Innovation 2014-2020 under Axis II “Thematic Projects”, Action “Clusters”, which finances industrial research and experimental development projects in the 12 specialization areas identified by the National Research Programme ‒ Programma Nazionale per la Ricerca (PNR) 2015-2020 ‒ in particular in the “Aerospace” specialization area. For the implementation of this initiative, a budget of 2.498.628,38 euro was allocated to the following beneficiaries forming the public-private partnership:

  • Etna Hitech Scpa (lead partner);
  • Ieeng Solution Srl
  • Consortium for the Promotion of Plastic Culture (Proplast);
  • INGV;
  • Sielte Spa;
  • University of Cassino and Southern Lazio;
  • University of MESSINA
  • Parthenope University of Naples;
  • A.C. - Società Aeroporto Catania Spa;
  • Mediterranea University of REGGIO CALABRIA

Impact on the Territory
The development of the model responds to the needs of the area and can be an important factor for its development by generating employment and providing a base around which other initiatives can be developed. The information produced by the model, in fact, will provide valuable support both to airport management companies, which face these issues, and to other local stakeholders such as public bodies, particularly Civil Protection and Agricultural Information Services.

Further Reading:

Etna, Progetto 'Aeromat' per prevenire impatto cenere vulcanica su aeroporto (ITA)
(Adnkronos, 25 February 2022)

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