Boeing’s data modeling tool for carbon-free aviation

Boeing has unveiled a new data modeling tool to calculate the most effective scenarios for achieving net zero carbon by 2050. The software tool, named Cascade, will assess the impact of different approaches to carbon neutrality with detailed meticulous. We take a closer look below.

Cascade – Boeing’s new data modeling system

At the Farnborough International Airshow 2022 (FIA 2022) this week, Boeing unveiled its new software tool to help it determine optimal pathways to net zero carbon.

Cascade is a data analysis and modeling tool created in consultation with leading universities that will enable precise calculations of various carbon neutrality strategies, such as the use of SAF, new technologies and fleet renewals.


Cascade could prove a key tool in reaching net zero for the industry by 2050. Photo: Getty Images

Chris Raymond, Boeing’s Chief Sustainability Officer, said:

“There are many ways to achieve a future where aviation is climate neutral. We created Cascade based on credible data and analytical models to allow users to explore various paths to net zero We believe this model will help our industry visualize, for example the first time, the true climate impact of each solution, from start to finish, and inform the most likely and effective strategies.”

Boeing wants to use Cascade with other airlines, industry partners and policy makers and may eventually make the tool publicly available online.

Simple Flying is at the Farnborough Airshow this week. For all the latest news from the show, click here!

Four-pillar approach

As Simple Flying explored last month, Boeing approaches decarbonization with a four-pillar strategy. These are:

  • Renewal of the aircraft fleet
  • Renewable energy sources such as sustainable fuel, hydrogen, electric propulsion
  • Operational efficiency improvements
  • Advanced technologies

Cascade will allow Boeing and its partners to create detailed models incorporating these four pillars. For example, airlines can assess the impact of certain changes, such as investing in new aircraft or making operational changes.

The tool’s modeling of renewable energies is particularly fine. Users can specify all the details, such as SAF type, SAF percentage, and source.

According to Boeing,

“The Cascade model assesses the full life cycle impacts of renewable energy considering the emissions required to produce, distribute and use alternative energy carriers such as hydrogen, electricity and sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) .”

In terms of SAF, Boeing has made it clear that it has a big role to play, but recognizes that alternative forms of energy need to be explored. The company is actively involved in various forms of hydrogen and electric power, including a partnership with the eVTOL company Wisk.

Raymond added,

“We need to take a holistic view of decarbonization. And when we do, it’s clear that Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is a necessary lever. We know it will take an ‘SAF and’ approach, not a “SAF or .approach to reach net zero by 2050.”

Future flight concepts

At FIA 2022, Boeing also shared its vision for potential hybrid, electric and hydrogen aircraft through its illustrative “Future Flights Concepts”.

Boeing’s future flight concepts. Photo: Boeing

Brian Yutko, Boeing Chief Engineer and Vice President of Sustainability and Future Mobility, said:

“Our common goal is to enable the societal benefits of air travel while achieving zero climate impact on our planet. To make this a reality, we believe it is best to learn and share our findings widely, based on of data, science and collaboration as we work together to decarbonize aviation.”

One of Boeing’s partners, Wisk, is also present at Farnborough this year. The company is showcasing its fully electric, self-driving eVTOL air taxi, which has completed more than 1,600 test flights to date.

Do you think Cascade will prove to be an important tool in achieving carbon neutrality? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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