Project Title: Atmospheric Ozone
Anticipated Outcome: New weather-based route planning techniques to avoid ozone levels in excess of operational (FAR 121.578) regulations.
Project Summary: Ozone is an important pollutant in the aircraft cabin environment. Originating in the stratosphere and produced by natural chemical processes, ozone can be introduced into airliner cabins by the aircraft ventilation system during flight. The FAA has established both airworthiness (FAR 25.832) and operational (FAR 121.578) regulations to limit ozone in passenger cabins.
Winter storm fronts have been shown to produce significant atmospheric mixing and elevated ozone levels on aircraft. Current flight planning tools typically utilize only simplistic criteria to reduce the probability of encountering elevated ozone levels and do not account for day-by-day weather events. This project is utilizing the extensive ozonesonde database to verify the coupling of advanced weather modeling technologies with new atmospheric mixing and chemical forecast models to predict hazardous ozone exposure levels for commercial aircraft. The project will also assess the ability of future improvements in weather forecasts to support ozone-related route planning /re-planning decision processes to ensure that the actual levels of ozone in commercial airliners during flight remain within limits that are safe and healthy.
University of Alabama - Huntsville