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Scientists launch far-ranging campaign to detail Front Range air pollution

nd how air circulation patterns near the mountains move them around," said NCAR scientist Frank Flocke, a principal investigator on FRAPP.

During the projects, which run from July 16 to mid August, Front Range residents may notice occasional low-flying research aircraft that are taking measurements of the atmosphere. The aircraft will spiral down at times, taking samples of air as they spiral directly above ground instruments that will be measuring air at the surface and observing the atmosphere above.

Ozone, a principal component of smog, forms from the reaction of hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide in the presence of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sunlight. It peaks during summer months when sunlight is strongest and air conditions are more likely to be stagnant.

Although the scientists will focus on ozone, they will also measure the size and chemical composition of airborne particles to better quantify particle pollution and track its sources. Microscopic airborne particles can have a major impact on people's respiratory health.

The data gathered by the projects will go through a quality assurance process and then become publicly available in about six months. Scientists will use the data to begin publishing research results in about a year.

An Armada of Instruments

FRAPP and DISCOVER-AQ will use similar payloads for their aircraft. The teams will conduct wingtip-to-wingtip intercomparison flights several times during the project, sampling air in the same place to make sure the instrument readings are comparable.

A network of instruments on towers, rooftops, and other sites will continuously monitor ozone and the gases that react to form it. Other ground-based activities, such as measurements from tethered balloons and from lidars (laser-based radars), will be closely coordinated with the flights. The researchers will draw on forecasts and nowcasts of both weather and air quality from a large number

Contact: David Hosansky

Bob Henson

National Center for Atmospheric Research/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

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