Austrian Airborne Aerosol Measurements at FIREX-AQ

The NOAA-NASA field experiment FIREX-AQ (Fire Influence on Regional to Global Environments Experiment - Air Quality) investigates how wood burns affect air quality and climate change in the atmosphere by making measurements with the NASA DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory as well as two NOAA Twin Otter research planes (NOAA-CHEM, NOAA-MET) that will fly to wood burning sites in North America.
Additional measurements are performed by two Mobile Laboratories (Aerodyne, NASA Langley) and serveral Ground Sites (Boise/ID, McCall/ID, Missoula/MT, Mount Bachelor/OR) near the burning sites and combined with data from the NASA ER-2 High Altitude Platform, NightFOX UAS and satellites.

The University of Vienna participates with principal investigator Bernadett Weinzierl as "CARE"-team:
Cloud Aerosol and Refractive Index Experiment.



  • DMT CAPS (Cloud, Aerosol and Precipitation Spectrometer - wing probe)
    number size distribution (0.51 - 50 µm & 12.5 - 930 µm) & images/shape of particles
  • DMT PIP (Precipitation Imaging Probe - wing probe):
    number size distribution (0.1 - 6.2 mm) & shape/images of particles
  • Envitech OPAL (Optical Particle Analyzer - cabin instrument):
    number size distribution (0.5 - 5 µm) & refractive index @ 660 nm & 808 nm

If you want to follow the NASA DC-8 during the flights on a map you can use the following link:


21-24 October 2019: Instrument Download

Back in Palmdale, ready for instrument download.

Disassembling the inlet line.

Busy activity inside the NASA DC-8.

Tidying up the rack for aircraft-download.

Packing up the instruments according to customs papers.

All boxes ready to be shipped back to Austria.

Dismantling the aerosol inlet.

5 September 2019: Transfer Flight SLN-PMD (MS)

Take-off: 17:37:00 UTC
Landing: 23:09:53 UTC

Fires: Winery 1-5

15 July 2019: Test Flight #01 for FIREX-AQ

The NASA DC-8 took off (CARE-operator: Max Dollner) at 14:22 LT at the Armstrong Flight Reasearch Center (AFRC) and headed north while climbing to 25.000 ft. After some MMS maneuvers and a spiral over Sequoia National Forest, it took a north-western route to Vacaville. Then the DC-8 turned east for some measurements low above the ground in the Sacramento Valley. Approaching the foot of the cenral Sierra Nevada mountain range, the flying laboratory performed a left 315° spiral and went on in a south-east direction. Reaching the latitude of San Francisco and after some more spirals there, the plane headed back to Sacramento while gaining some height. After a turn to the north-east and climbing to 30.000 ft., the DC-8 passed over the Tahoe National Forest. On its way back to Palmdale over the Sierre Nevada mountain range, some more maneuvers were performed over Sierra National Forest. The plane landed as scheduled at 17:52 LT after a successful flight.

© Flightradar24.com (flight levels indicated by color)

© FlightAware.com (flight pattern of test flight #1)

20 May - 06 June 2019: Integration for FIREX-AQ

Calibration runs, tests and installation of the new hardware.

Lab work.

Rack with CARE-equipment waiting for installation.


Univ.-Prof. Dr. Bernadett Weinzierl