Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Humble 'virtual chimney' fences could reduce impact of airport pollution

Date:
January 31, 2013
Source:
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Summary:
Simple 'blast' fences called baffles could deliver improvements in air quality for people living near airports, new research has found. Placed behind a runway, the baffles could serve as a 'virtual chimney', funneling emissions from aircraft engines upwards where they can disperse more effectively, thereby reducing the environmental impact on people living nearby.

Testing the baffles at Cranfield airport.
Credit: Image courtesy of Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Simple 'blast' fences called baffles could deliver improvements in air quality for people living near airports, new research has found.

Placed behind a runway, the baffles could serve as a 'virtual chimney', funnelling emissions from aircraft engines upwards where they can disperse more effectively, thereby reducing the environmental impact on people living nearby.

Prototype baffles have been tested by a team of researchers from Manchester Metropolitan University, Cranfield University, the University of Southampton and the University of Cambridge, with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

After preliminary wind tunnel testing of various baffle shapes carried out by Cranfield University, an array of three rows of baffles was tested using laser scanning (Lidar, which is the optical equivalent of Radar) and chemical sensor techniques at Cranfield Airport in Bedfordshire. This demonstrated that the aircraft exhaust plume could be made to leave the ground within the airport's boundary fence, using prototype baffles of less than a man's height and constructed out of low-cost agricultural windbreak netting on lightweight frames.

Dr Mike Bennett, who led the project, says: "Airfield surfaces are typically covered with grass, over which the wind can blow freely. An array of baffles makes the surface rough in an aerodynamic sense. This sucks the momentum out of the exhaust jet, allowing its natural buoyancy to come into play. By suitably angling the baffles, we can also give the exhaust an upwards push, encouraging it to rise away from the ground.

"The baffles we tested were tilted at angles between 40 and 60 in order to optimise this vertical flow -- and to ensure the baffles didn't blow over! Although the exhaust will still disperse to the ground eventually, it will do so at a lower concentration. We might hope to see a reduction in surface concentrations of around 50 per cent at the perimeter fence behind the place where aircraft are taking off."

Long-term ground-level nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations around many major airports in Europe already exceed the legal limit enforced by the EU.

The aim of the trial was essentially to test the baffles' aerodynamics. As the prototype installation was temporary, it was constructed very differently from how a permanent installation might be made. Each baffle must be sufficiently robust to withstand the 80-90 knot blast from a jet engine, but flimsy enough to collapse harmlessly if an aircraft were to hit it. In the trial, this was achieved by restricting the prototype baffle widths to about two metres but it would be feasible to make them much narrower in a permanent installation. For full-scale use an area of baffles in the order of a thousand square metres would need to be erected behind a runway.

The tests also showed that the baffles dampened engine noise downstream by a modest amount and were helpful in reducing jet blast on the airport perimeter.

"There's no reason why baffles couldn't start to be installed at airports within two or three years," Dr Bennett says. "From the point of view of local air quality, they represent a quick, cheap supplement to developing low-NOx jet engines."

The project was carried out under the auspices of the EPSRC-funded Airport Energy Technologies Network (AETN), which was established in 2008 to undertake cutting-edge research in the field of aviation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. "Humble 'virtual chimney' fences could reduce impact of airport pollution." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130131120853.htm>.
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. (2013, January 31). Humble 'virtual chimney' fences could reduce impact of airport pollution. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130131120853.htm
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. "Humble 'virtual chimney' fences could reduce impact of airport pollution." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130131120853.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins