Integrating Life Cycle Assessment in Conceptual Aircraft Design: A Comparative Tool Analysis

Kristina Mazur, Mischa Saleh, Mirko Hornung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Early and rapid environmental assessment of newly developed aircraft concepts is eminent in today’s climate debate. This can shorten the decision-making process and thus accelerate the entry into service of climate-friendly technologies. A holistic approach within the conceptual aircraft design is taken into consideration in terms of a life cycle assessment (LCA) to properly model and evaluate these concepts. To provide an understanding of how different LCA software affects the assessment, the goals of this study are to establish a baseline metrics definition for comparative evaluation and apply them to two tools. The first tool is an existing simplified derivative of openLCA, while the second, developed in this study, is an automated interface to the same software. The main finding is that researchers and practitioners must carefully consider the intended use of the tool. The simplified tool is suitable for training and teaching purposes and assessments on single score level. In contrast, an advanced tool is required in order to appropriately analyze the overall impact categories requiring high levels of LCA expertise, modeling, and time effort.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024


  • application programming interface
  • conceptual aircraft design
  • life cycle assessment
  • openLCA
  • tool analysis


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