A balloon system for profiling smoke plumes from forest fires
Document Type: Book Chapter
Author(s): P. W. Ryan; C. D. Tangren; C. K. McMahon
Editor(s): Air Pollution Control Association
Publication Year: 1979

Cataloging Information

  • air quality
  • Arizona
  • carbon
  • combustion
  • dead fuels
  • field experimental fires
  • fire equipment
  • fire management
  • gases
  • headfires
  • humidity
  • low intensity burns
  • nitrogen
  • Ohio
  • particulates
  • rate of spread
  • sampling
  • smoke behavior
  • smoke management
  • temperature
  • wind
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: July 12, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 38803
Tall Timbers Record Number: 13420
TTRS Location Status: Not in file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File DDW
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


This paper is directed to those interested in techniques for measuring emission rates and emission factors for forest fires and other open combustion sources. A source-sampling procedure that involved the use of a vertical array of lightweight, battery-operated instruments suspended from a helium-filled aerodynamic balloon is described. In this procedure, plume profiles from ground level to 600m can be determined for particulate matter, several combustion gases, windspeed, and temperature. Information on the logistics of the operation and potential application are presented. The advantages and disadvantages of this system, as compared to other ground and airborne sampling systems, are presented. The operational feasibility of the system was demonstrated in a series of 1978 experiments, confirming that this is a viable method of sampling emissions from forest fires.

Ryan, P. W., C. D. Tangren, and C. K. McMahon. 1979. A balloon system for profiling smoke plumes from forest fires, in Air Pollution Control Association ed., Proceedings: 72nd annual meeting, June 25-29, 1979, Cincinnati, Ohio. Pittsburgh, PA, Air Pollution Control Association.