Fire Influence on Regional to Global Environments and Air Quality
A NOAA / NASA Interagency Intensive Study of North American Fires
Where: Western U.S.
When: 2019 wildfire season
What: FIREX-AQ combines the previously separate NASA FIREChem and NOAA FIREX aircraft campaigns to better study the atmospheric effects of wildland and agricultural fires in the U.S. This offers significant advantages to the research community by optimally leveraging the scientific interests, personnel, and assets of NASA, NOAA, other agencies, and academic partners in a fully integrated program of field measurements, modeling, and interpretation. The joint FIREX-AQ program benefits from the knowledge base developed from detailed emissions characterization by NOAA and partners in the FIREX Fire Lab 2016 study. The NASA DC-8 aircraft offers an unparalleled payload capacity for comprehensive characterization of fire emissions, provides the flight envelope required to study chemical transformations during long-range transport, and enables sampling of both Western wildfires and agricultural/land-management burning emissions across the United States. The NOAA Twin Otter aircraft provides a complementary near-field ability to study daytime and nighttime chemical processing in lofted plumes from Western wildfires. The joint FIREX-AQ program further combines in-situ surface and airborne observations with remote sensing data to inform retrieval validation for wildfire emissions and plume optical properties.