In the generally stably stratified lower stratosphere, SST exhaust plumes could spend a significant length of time in a relatively undispersed state. This effort has utilized invariant modeling techniques to simulate the separate and combined effects of atmospheric turbulence, turbulent diffusion, and chemical reactions of SST exhaust materials in the lower stratosphere. The primary results to date are: (1) The combination of relatively slow diffusive mixing and rapid chemical reactions during the Phase III wake period minimizes the effect of SST exhausts on O3 depletion by the so-called NOx catalytic cycle. While the SST-produced NO is substantially above background concentrations, it appears diffusive mixing of NO and O3 is simply too slow to produce the O3 depletions originally proposed. (2) The time required to dilute the SST exhaust plume may be a significant fraction of the total time these materials are resident in the lower stratosphere. If this is the case, then prior estimates of the environmental impact of these materials must be revised significantly downward.
THERMODYNAMICS AND COMBUSTION