Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurement (FAAM)

Lead Research Organisation: NERC National Ctr for Atmospheric Sci

Abstract

FAAM, which is based at Cranfield airfield and University, was established by the Natural Environmental Research Council and the Met Office to: a) maximise the potential of the BAe-146-301 large Atmospheric Research Aircraft (ARA); b) operate, calibrate and maintain the ARA's core instrumentation; c) process core data and present to science users and to BADC in a timely and efficient manner; d) plan and coordinate instrument configuration changes; e) manage the introduction of new instruments on behalf of the scientific user community; f) operationally plan and execute science campaigns on behalf of the scientific user community; g) train users new to the aircraft and Facility; h) provide continuation support to existing customers; and i) to operate the contracts that support the aircraft and required operating infrastructure. It also conducts and publishes research in support of, but always directed by, these activities.

Publications

10 25 50

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Bloss W (2010) Coupling of HO x , NO x and halogen chemistry in the antarctic boundary layer in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

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Brooks I (2009) Physical Exchanges at the Air-Sea Interface: UK-SOLAS Field Measurements in Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society

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Brooks I (2009) Supplement to Physical Exchanges at the Air-Sea Interface: UK-SOLAS Field Measurements in Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society

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Capes G (2009) Secondary organic aerosol from biogenic VOCs over West Africa during AMMA in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

 
Description FAAM provides impact in two ways: through the actions of the Facility itself and through the research that it enables in the community. Areas where FAAM itself has generated impact are: ? Responding to the Elgin gas platform's uncontrolled release of methane in 2012. NCAS used the FAAM aircraft to quantify the leak and allow Total's engineers to shorten the duration of the emergency. Although subsequently Total reimbursed the costs, due to the national implications (for safety and tax revenue) of this incident, NCAS responded immediately and undertook two flights before financial and other agreements could be put in place. ? Emissions monitoring. NCAS uses the FAAM aircraft, chemical analysis expertise and dispersion modelling expertise to measure and interpret emissions of hydrocarbons from production areas of the North Sea and in areas where hydraulic fracturing is proposed to allow before-and-after comparisons. ? Testing a new optical ice detector developed by GKN. This was done through a commercial contract with the company ? Extensive public engagement, e.g. i. FAAM attended the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford, conducting a static display in 2014. Also in 2014, following a project in Prestwick, FAAM attended the Scottish International Airshow. ii. Into the Blue 2016, the NERC public engagement event at Manchester airport. FAAM featured in numerous topical broadcasts, and also welcomed several hundred public visitors to the aircraft to talk about our work. iii. FAAM attended the Royal Society Summer Exhibition 2014 as part of an exhibit about measuring convection in the tropics - based around the CAST project. Also Cambridge Science Festival in 2013 with outreach related to MAMM. iv. FAAM have conducted many local tours to different groups when on detachment, e.g. Ascension Islanders during CLARIFY 2017. Visiting parties have also toured the facility at Cranfield, e.g. two Scout troops in 2015 and a group of Kazakhstan students in 2017. v. At least annual broadcast items across BBC, ITV and C4 directly concerning FAAM's work. The most recent examples, in October 2017, were BBC national news items with the Science Editor talking about volcano emission measurements on the FAAM aircraft. 'Inside the Met Office' - a 4-part documentary broadcast on C4 in 2015 - also featured segments on the FAAM aircraft. The use of the FAAM facility has had a significant impact on the Met Office's NWP model, including improving the understanding of cloud microphysics, temperature biases, fog formation and cloud-aerosol interactions. Some examples of this are: i. CONSTRAIN - improving ice and mixed-phase cloud microphysical parameters used in both the Unified Model and the Large Eddy Simulation cloud-resolving model. The increasingly complex treatment of cloud microphysics in the high-resolution UM means that it is especially important to empirically constrain rates and constants associated with new physical processes required. ii. SALSTICE - Semi-arid areas such as SW USA exhibit large biases in NWP surface temperature when compared with satellite data. Using a combination of ground-based and FAAM aircraft radiometers allowed constraints to be applied on longwave and shortwave radiation. iii. COSMICS - Cold airflow over a relatively warm sea surface leading to the formation of boundary layer stratiform and convective clouds. The model often struggles to capture these mixed phase clouds and FAAM measurements have helped improve the representation. Similar issues occur over the Southern Ocean, with the lack of cloud contributing to a large SST bias in most climate models. iv. The Met Office also works with the European Space Agency (ESA) on satellite demonstrators and Calibration and Validation flights with the FAAM. This keeps the UK as a key player and therefore in a position of influence over future satellite missions. This also filters down to other research establishments to help push forward scientific developments in these areas. Other areas where impact has followed from science supported are: • Air quality and greenhouse gases: there has been considerable press interest in FAAM's air quality and greenhouse gas measurements, e.g. during Clearflo in 2012, Into the Blue in 2016 and recently in the New Statesman. • Volcanic plumes. FAAM flights contributed significantly to the development of the new CAA policies which allowed qualified re-opening of air space some 6 days after the Icelandic eruption impacted the UK in 2010. More recent FAAM work to monitor emissions of volcanic gases from non-erupting volcanoes in Iceland has received considerable media attention.
First Year Of Impact 2010
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Education,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Transport
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description NERC RRS Discovery in London. Public & Community Engagement. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Presenting the research and facilities of NCAS as well as "Science Busking" on London's Lower Embankment. Involvement with this event raised the profile of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science within NERC and with a wide range of stakeholders. Over 500 people were involved with tours, busking and in other activities surrounding the events in October in London. Felicity Perry
Volunteers included Jamie Minaeian, Matt Gascoyne, James Lee, James Allan, Sarah Moller, Tor Smith, Felicity Perry, Ioana Colfescu, Zoe Fleming, Marvin Shaw, Tomas Sherwen and Sina Hackenberg
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://storify.com/PlanetEarthnews/rrs-discovery-visits-london
 
Description FAAM Tours at NERC Into The Blue 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Axel Wellpot. Hannah Price, Alan Woolley, Rebecca Carling, Freya Lumb, Ben Pickering and many more.

Participated in the NERC public event 'Into the Blue' at Manchester in October 2016, organising and giving tours of the research aircraft
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://intotheblue.nerc.ac.uk
 
Description FAAM aircraft tours 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact FAAM research aircraft tours to air traffic controllers and participants of Aberdeen oil industry event
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description FAAM-themed Brownies workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Brownies workshop based on the FAAM research aircraft.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description FAAM-themed schools workshops 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact FAAM-themed workshops for KS1 and KS2 school pupils, developed and delivered by Hannah Price.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Gascoyne, Matt - Open days/exhibitions 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact NERC Open Day event, hosted by BGS Keyworth. Representing NCAS science and the Facility for Airbourne Atmospheric Measurements.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Into The Blue - NERC Public Engagement Event - Manchester 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Into the blue Manchester was held at the Manchester Runway Visitor Park between 25th October and 29th October 2016. Staged under the wings of Concorde, the event consisted of five days of science engagement with a total audience of approximately 5,250 people, an average of over 1,000 visitors each day. Researchers, science communicators, stakeholders and the general public were brought together to bring alive the science we live and breathe.
Into the blue was conceived, funded and managed by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the UK's leading commissioner of environmental science. NERC has an obligation by royal charter to communicate its research with the public and to create a dialogue that can benefit environmental science, researchers, and society as a whole. In 2016 NERC capitalised on its unique opportunity to engage with public audiences by materialising the UK's largest research aircraft at Into the blue Manchester. The FAAM aircraft provided Into the blue with a central motif that brought to life the UK's world leading research capabilities.
Into the blue Manchester offered visitors a chance to tour the FAAM aircraft, attend talks, meet scientists and interact with a diverse range of hands-on science exhibits. Event contributors represented more than 30 universities and research centres across the UK, showcasing the very best of UK environmental science research.
From the outset it was clear that Into the blue was going to be more ambitious than any event NERC had staged before. To measure the success of Into the blue and to improve future events a comprehensive evaluation has been carried out. This has provided insights and metrics to allow NERC to respond to feedback. By engaging with and listening to our audiences we aim to improve future practice.
This evaluation aims to establish how far the Into the blue showcase was able to achieve the four primary objectives set out by NERC:
Make NERC science accessible to the public, stimulating enthusiasm and support for UK environmental science;
Engage targeted stakeholders with NERC science and innovation to create advocates for NERC;
Engage our colleagues to encourage pride in NERC and act as ambassadors;
Create a focal point for broad-reaching mass public engagement via media and social media based on these events.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://intotheblue.nerc.ac.uk
 
Description NCAS facilities and services represented at Meteorological Technology World Exp 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Representatives from NCAS, FAAM, AMF and CEDA exhibited at the Meteorological Technology World Expo in Amsterdam. We were part of 200 exhibiting companies and organisations at the 3-day event, where 4000 people attended. We spoke to weather and climate related manufacturers, service providers and scientists about the work we deliver via our facilities and services.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description National Oceanography Centre Open Day - Various Staff and Volunteers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A group of volunteered to helped to demonstrate climate model simulations, and the FAAM aircraft at National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, Open Day 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Radio Series for Children 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Hannah Price was involved with a new radio series for children (part of NERC Climate Explorers)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Schools Workshop - Liverpool - Hannah Price 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Hannah Price ran a schools workshop in Liverpool - introducing ~100 children (year 5) to the work of the FAAM aircraft
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Schools workshop to build instruments for atmospheric research aircraft 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Hannah Price from FAAM supported a schools workshop in Greenwich (part of NERC Climate Explorers) and delivered a hands on activity in which children built instruments for their own atmospheric research aircraft. Hannah provided information about the FAAM research aircraft and answered questions about where it flies, what it measures etc.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Wellpott, Axel - Open days/exhibitions 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at the 1st Atmospheric Science Showcase in Cranfield, presenting a wide range of science flights and campaigns.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015