Monday, 15 August 2011

Flying is the hard work begins!

As you may have gathered from the last post, all the flight team are now safely back in the UK and the aircraft is getting ready for its next deployment. First impressoins suggest that it was a very successful campaign. We were very lucky with the weather and positioning of the forest fires which meant that we were able to sample ageing plumes on several occassions. It would also seem that we managed to make measurements of plumes at different ages from relatively fresh to several days old. We managed to perform a spiral profile during a satellite overpass, a profile around the time of an ozonesonde launch and two fly-bys of the Pico Mountain Observatory which should allow comparisons with these measurement platforms.

Clockwise from top left: Aura satellite (from, Pico Mountain Observatory, BAe 146 Atmospheric Research Aircraft, ozonesonde launch.

We also got some good publicity and various articles that are available on the net if you want to have a look. It was all kicked off by The Canadian Smoke Newsletter in autumn 2009 which has a section about BORTAS at the end of the autumn 2009 issue (when the aircraft campaign was intended to be in July 2010). Press releases came out just before the start of the campaign in July 2011 from NERC ( and BAe systems ( along with an article in The Herald Scotland. BORTAS also featured in the print versions of the Edinburgh Metro and The Press and Journal - the voice of the North but we couldn't find online versions of those articles. During the campaign in Halifax we had a visit from The Chronicle Herald, a Canadian Newspaper, but I can't seem to get access to the article anymore (headline: Researchers tracking effect of forest fire smoke around the globe), we did make the front page though! Some of our scientists starred on the Global Maritimes evening news, see them at, and filming took place during one of our flights by the Discovery Channel Canada so we will see what comes from that. The University of York eventually caught up and featured the BORTAS campaign on their news pages on 3rd August. All in all it's good to see that people are interested, now we just have to wait and see what the data shows up!

So now the hard work of analysing, quality assuring and correlating data begins. Updates to the blog will be less frequent but I will keep you up to date with any progress, meetings and (fingers crossed) publication of lots of hard hitting scientific papers.


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  2. Proper aircraft maintenance must be conducted first before the next deployment. This is very necessary to prevent accidents.

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