Modeling of aircraft exhaust emissions and infrared spectra for remote measurement of nitrogen oxides
Abstract. Infrared (IR) molecular spectroscopy is proposed to perform remote measurements of NOx concentrations in the exhaust plume and wake of aircraft. The computer model NIRATAM is applied to simulate the physical and chemical properties of the exhaust plume and to generate low resolution IR spectra and synthetical thermal images of the aircraft in its natural surroundings. High-resolution IR spectra of the plume, including atmospheric absorption and emission, are simulated using the molecular line-by-line radiation model FASCODE2. Simulated IR spectra of a Boeing 747-400 at cruising altitude for different axial and radial positions in the jet region of the exhaust plume are presented. A number of spectral lines of NO can be identified that can be discriminated from lines of other exhaust gases and the natural atmospheric background in the region around 5.2 µm. These lines can be used to determine NO concentration profiles in the plume. The possibility of measuring nitrogen dioxide NO2 is also discussed briefly, although measurements turn out to be substantially less likely than those of NO. This feasibility study compiles fundamental data for the optical and radiometric design of an airborne Fourier transform spectrometer and the preparation of in-flight measurements for monitoring of aircraft pollutants.