California Fire Dynamics Experiment (CalFiDE)

Where: California

When: August - September 2022

CalFiDE logo

CSL is partnering with researchers from San Jose State University, University of Nevada, Reno and NASA Goddard for a five week aircraft-based study of wildfire behavior and emissions and how they response to spatially and temporally evolving wind fields in California. A NOAA Twin Otter will be outfitted with instruments to measure a suite of atmospheric chemistry compounds, and a scanning Doppler lidar to measure horizontal wind fields, plume vertical dynamics, spatial extent and transport. The experiment will provide new data on the emissions and chemistry leading to ozone formation in wildfire plumes and in populated areas impacted by these plumes. The aircraft will also have a high-resolution infrared imaging system to track the behavior of the active flame front and other sensors to measure fire radiative power (FRP). Ground-based mobile scanning radars and lidars will be positioned around the fire to track the temporally evolving input wind field and the spatial structure and internal dynamics of the fire plume while the NOAA Twin Otter flies overhead to track fire behavior and strength and make dynamics measurements over a larger spatial scale.

NOAA Twin Otter
CSL CalFiDE group with the NOAA Twin Otter, 9 September. Photo: Alan Brewer, NOAA