FIREX-AQ Data Release Announcement
Sept. 1, 2020
The Atmospheric Science Data Center (ASDC) at NASA Langley Research Center has published data for the Fire Influence on Regional to Global Environments and Air Quality (FIREX-AQ) field campaign. The campaign was a massive NOAA/NASA interagency intensive study of North American fires, employing hundreds of instruments and scientists from six federal agencies, 22 academic institutions, two foreign governments, and numerous private-sector companies in a collaborative, complex logistical operation during the summer of 2019.
While wild fires generally result in exposures with larger pollution concentrations over larger areas, the smaller and less intense prescribed fires occur more frequently and throughout the whole year. To date agricultural fire outputs are still poorly represented in emission inventories. The overarching goal of FIREX-AQ was to provide measurements of trace gas and aerosol emissions for wildfires and prescribed fires in great detail, relate them to fuel and fire conditions at the point of emission, characterize the conditions relating to plume rise, follow plumes downwind to understand chemical transformation and air quality impacts.
FIREX-AQ utilized a combination of instrumented airplanes, satellites, and ground-based instrumentation. Detailed fire plume sampling was carried out by the NASA DC-8 aircraft, which had a comprehensive instrument payload capable of measuring over 200 trace gas species, as well as aerosol microphysical, optical, and chemical properties. The DC-8 aircraft completed 23 science flights, including 15 flights from Boise, Idaho and 8 flights from Salina, Kansas. NASA’s ER-2 completed 11 flights, partially in support of the FIREX-AQ effort. The ER-2 payload was made up of 8 satellite analog instruments and provided critical fire information, including fire temperature, fire plume heights, and vegetation/soil albedo information. A ground-based mobile lab provided in-situ measurements of aerosol microphysical and optical properties, aerosol chemical compositions, and trace gas species.
Additional information about FIREX-AQ can be found at our partner’s site https://esrl.noaa.gov/csl/projects/firex-aq/ .