Army researchers participate in multi-agency ozone study

September 17, 2018

By ARL Public Affairs

Story Highlights

  • Army researchers recently participated in the Long Island Sound Tropospheric Ozone Study, which focuses on the Long Island Sound, New York, region that continues to experience poor air quality from ozone concentrations downwind from New York City.
  • The data collected complements ARL research programs seeking to better understand the evolution and fate of harmful atmospheric aerosols in the free atmosphere.

ADELPHI, Md. (Sept. 17, 2018) -- At the invitation of the City College of New York, researchers from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory recently participated in the Long Island Sound Tropospheric Ozone Study, or LISTOS.

Deryck James and Dr. David Ligon of the laboratory's Atmospheric Sensing Branch provided support and expertise for the multi-agency collaborative study, which focuses on the Long Island Sound, New York, region that continues to experience poor air quality from ozone concentrations downwind from New York City, exacerbated by complex land/water interface circulations.

The goal of LISTOS is to improve the understanding of ozone chemistry and its transport in the region.

"The City of New York spoke with ARL researchers in supporting efforts to characterize atmospheric effects within urban areas, a conversation initiated during an ARL Open Campus Open House event," James said. "Essential to this investigation was our participation in this study that was conducted in the New York metropolitan area. The goal of the study focused on gaining a better understanding and characterization of the lower atmosphere wind flow patterns that evolve during the day in coastal regions, and especially during heat-wave events."

Questions addressed during the study included: Does the NYC metro area urban air shed, share similar attributes with other urban regions influenced by over-water transport of polluted air masses that would help inform air quality program decisions?; How do photochemical processing and meteorology of polluted air masses over Long Island Sound influence observed high ozone concentrations along coastal Connecticut and other downwind areas?; and What is the future potential impact under a warming climate of long-range pollutant transport in wildfire plumes on the Northeast's air quality as anthropogenic emissions continue to decrease?

James and Ligon operated two Doppler wind Light Detection and Ranging, or LIDAR, systems during the field campaign, supplementing a third CCNY system.

The LIDARs performed individual and multi-system combined scans to very accurately characterize the lower-atmosphere wind flow patterns that evolve during the day in coastal regions.

Using specialized codes developed by ARL, James trained the CCNY faculty and students to operate the LIDARs in multi-system scan strategy configurations, obtaining very high temporal and spatial-resolution wind profiles in the atmospheric boundary layer and even flowing around building structures.

James, a highly-experienced meteorological technician, also taught the CCNY students how to launch weather balloons during the LISTOS campaign to broaden their knowledge of atmospheric sensing methodologies.

The data collected complements ARL research programs seeking to better understand the evolution and fate of harmful atmospheric aerosols in the free atmosphere, and James and Ligon will continue their involvement with LISTOS in upcoming data analysis and field campaign phases, as requested.

"As a result of our participation in LISTOS, characterizing the lower atmosphere wind flow patterns provided us with a better understanding of the specific features of ground-level and boundary layer ozone photochemical formations responsible for transporting air pollutant emissions downwind of NYC and over Long Island Sound," James said.

According to James, this research is of utmost importance to the Army and our Soldiers.

"This technology is of great benefit to the Army and the Soldier in understanding the key factors that can impact mission success, such as Soldier health and asset allocation to include autonomous systems," James said. "The data captured during the study provides a comprehensible view of plume dispersion in an urban environment in addition to high temporal and spatial-resolution wind profiles in the atmospheric boundary layer and even around building structures."

Two co-authored conference proceedings by James and Ligon will be submitted to the American Meteorological Society, "Doppler Wind Lidar Estimations of Mixing Layer Dispersion in NYC during Heat Wave Conditions," and the American Geophysical Union "Co-Operating Doppler Wind Lidar Observations of Urban Coastal Flows during Heat Wave Events in NYC Metro Region for Air Quality Applications," per data derived from this cooperative operation in support of the LISTOS campaign.


The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to ensure decisive overmatch for unified land operations to empower the Army, the joint warfighter and our nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.

 

Last Update / Reviewed: September 17, 2018