Emission Measurements of the Concorde Supersonic Aircraft in the Lower Stratosphere

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  06 Oct 1995:
Vol. 270, Issue 5233, pp. 70-74
DOI: 10.1126/science.270.5233.70


Emission indices of reactive gases and particles were determined from measurements in the exhaust plume of a Concorde aircraft cruising at supersonic speeds in the stratosphere. Values for NOx (sum of NO and NO2) agree well with ground-based estimates. Measurements of NOx and HOx indicate a limited role for nitric acid in the plume. The large number of submicrometer particles measured implies efficient conversion of fuel sulfur to sulfuric acid in the engine or at emission. A new fleet of supersonic aircraft with similar particle emissions would significantly increase stratospheric aerosol surface areas and may increase ozone loss above that expected for NOx emissions alone.