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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Environmental Measurement and Modeling

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The U.S. DOT Volpe Center's Environmental Measurement and Modeling Division measures and models acoustics and air quality to support transportation-related noise, air quality, and safety initiatives. Our work is used to develop energy and environmental policies and drive reductions in carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions.

Our team measures noise and emissions for all modes of transportation and conducts long-term noise monitoring in remote locations, such as national parks.

We model noise, emissions, and dispersion from transportation-related sources to understand environmental and technological impacts and improve quality of life.


  • Noise measurement for all modes of transportation
  • Integrated modeling of transportation impacts using a suite of environmental tools
  • Modeling of emissions and dispersion from transportation-related sources
  • Air quality analysis
  • Air pollutant concentration measurement
  • Meteorological data measurement
  • Traffic data measurement
  • Real-time vehicle guidance and tracking
  • Software development
  • Aviation noise certification and differential GPS validation
  • Environmental policy development and analysis

Tool Suite and Modeling Expertise

Volpe’s team develops tools and has expertise using them to perform environmental measurement and modeling. These tools include the following:

Federal Aviation Administration environmental tools:

  • Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT) - View the AEDT User Interface Introduction video.
  • Integrated Noise Model (INM)
  • System for assessing Aviation's Global Emissions (SAGE)
  • Model for Assessing Global Exposure of Noise to Transport Airplanes (MAGENTA)
  • Emissions and Dispersion Modeling System (EDMS)
  • Noise Integrated Routing System (NIRS)

Air quality models:

  • MOBILE5a
  • ISC3

Highway noise models:

  • Traffic Noise Model (TNM)
  • Community Noise Model (CNM)

NextGen Initiative Support

Volpe staff help lead several initiatives for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), including the following:

  • Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise (CLEEN) Program
  • Environmental Goals and Targets Performance Tracking System
  • Environmental Management Systems (EMS)

Publications and Papers

View Volpe-authored publications and papers on the following topics:

Training Opportunities


View selected staff biographies.

Publications and Papers

Training Opportunities

Last updated: Wednesday, October 5, 2022