Platform: NOAA-CHEM Twin Otter

Who: Investigators and mission support include NOAA, NOAA ESRL Chemical Sciences Division and university and contract research organizations.

Nighttime Oxidation of Biomass Burning Plumes
Graphic: Z. Decker, NOAA / CIRES
Illustration of major volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from wildfire (left) and agricultural (right) biomass burning together with their major nighttime oxidation pathways (NO3 or O3) and reaction products (center).

The FIREX-AQ NOAA-CHEM Twin Otter deploys to Boise, ID and other locations across the northwest U.S. in July and August for detailed emissions, near-field photochemistry and nighttime chemistry in coordination with other research platforms, including the NOAA-MET Twin Otter, the Mobile Laboratories and the NASA DC-8. The NOAA-CHEM Twin Otter focuses on the variability of the emissions measuring close to a wildfire for extended time periods, the fast evolution of smoke in the first few hours after emission, and the vertical distribution in the concentration, composition and optical properties of smoke in regionally impacted western valleys. Where possible, the NOAA-CHEM Twin Otter coordinates with the NASA DC-8 to study the chemical evolution on day to multi-day timescales.

6 September 2010 Boulder CO Fourmile Canyon Fire nighttime flames and smoke
Photo: P. Cullis, NOAA / CIRES

NOAA's Aircraft Operations Center (AOC) in Lakeland, FL maintains and operates NOAA's aircraft assets. Among them are two De Havilland DHC-6-300 Twin Otter aircraft used for this study.

NOAA-CHEM Twin Otter Instrument Payload