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Proceedings Paper

Multispectral imaging of aircraft exhaust
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Paper Abstract

Aircraft pollutants emitted during the landing-takeoff (LTO) cycle have significant effects on the local air quality surrounding airports. There are currently no inexpensive, portable, and unobtrusive sensors to quantify the amount of pollutants emitted from aircraft engines throughout the LTO cycle or to monitor the spatial-temporal extent of the exhaust plume. We seek to thoroughly characterize the unburned hydrocarbon (UHC) emissions from jet engine plumes and to design a portable imaging system to remotely quantify the emitted UHCs and temporally track the distribution of the plume. This paper shows results from the radiometric modeling of a jet engine exhaust plume and describes a prototype long-wave infrared imaging system capable of meeting the above requirements. The plume was modeled with vegetation and sky backgrounds, and filters were selected to maximize the detectivity of the plume. Initial calculations yield a look-up chart, which relates the minimum amount of emitted UHCs required to detect the presence of a plume to the noise-equivalent radiance of a system. Future work will aim to deploy the prototype imaging system at the Greater Rochester International Airport to assess the applicability of the system on a national scale. This project will help monitor the local pollution surrounding airports and allow better-informed decision-making regarding emission caps and pollution bylaws.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 May 2016
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 9862, Advanced Environmental, Chemical, and Biological Sensing Technologies XIII, 98620D (9 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2222604
Show Author Affiliations
Emily E. Berkson, Rochester Institute of Technology (United States)
David W. Messinger, Rochester Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9862:
Advanced Environmental, Chemical, and Biological Sensing Technologies XIII
Tuan Vo-Dinh; Robert A. Lieberman; Günter G. Gauglitz, Editor(s)

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