We presented results from the SASS Near-Field Interactions Flight (SNIF-III) Experiment which was conducted during May and June 1997 in collaboration with the Vermont and New Jersey Air National Guard Units. The project objectives were to quantify the fraction of fuel sulfur converted to S(VI) species by jet engines and to gain a better understanding of particle formation and growth processes within aircraft wakes. Size and volatility segregated aerosol measurements along with sulfur species measurements were recorded in the exhaust of F-16 aircraft equipped with F-100 engines burning fuels with a range of fuel S concentrations at different altitudes and engine power settings. A total of 10 missions were flown in which F-16 exhaust plumes were sampled by an instrumented T-39 Sabreliner aircraft. On six of the flights, measurements were obtained behind the same two aircraft, one burning standard JP-8 fuel and the other either approximately 28 ppm or 1100 ppm S fuel or an equal mixture of the two (approximately 560 ppm S). A pair of flights was conducted for each fuel mixture, one at 30,000 ft altitude and the other starting at 35,000 ft and climbing to higher altitudes if contrail conditions were not encountered at the initial flight level. In each flight, the F-16s were operated at two power settings, approx. 80% and full military power. Exhaust emissions were sampled behind both aircraft at each flight level, power setting, and fuel S concentration at an initial aircraft separation of 30 m, gradually widening to about 3 km. Analyses of the aerosol data in the cases where fuel S was varied suggest results were consistent with observations from project SUCCESS, i.e., a significant fraction of the fuel S was oxidized to form S(VI) species and volatile particle emission indices (EIs) in comparably aged plumes exhibited a nonlinear dependence upon the fuel S concentration. For the high sulfur fuel, volatile particle EIs in 10-second-old-plumes were 2 to 3 x 10 (exp 17) / kg of fuel burned and exhibited no obvious trend with engine power setting or flight altitude. In contrast, about 8-fold fewer particles were observed in similarly aged plumes from the same aircraft burning fuel with 560 ppm S content and EIs of 1 x 10(exp 15)/ kg of fuel burned were observed in the 28 ppm S fuel case. Moreover, data recorded as a function of plume age indicates that formation and growth of the volatile particles proceeds more slowly as the fuel S level is reduced. For example, ultrafine particle concentrations appear to stabilize within 5 seconds after emission in the 1100 ppm S cases but are still increasing in 20-second old plumes produced from burning the 560 ppm S fuel.
Workshop on Aerosols and Particulates from Aircraft Gas Turbine Engines; 83-100; NASA/CP-1999-208918