Why a plane will be flying low over some French cities in the coming weeks

A plane is expected to fly very low over the cities of Reims, Châlons and Epernay in Marne, northeastern France, over the next few weeks as part of a global scientific campaign.

The US space agency, NASA, is one of 50 science teams participating in the program, which aims to measure gas emissions in the sky above cities.

An aircraft will fly at only 100 to 300 meters altitude under the project. In comparison, most commercial jets typically fly between 10,000 and 12,000 meters at full altitude.

Other teams involved in the campaign come from 12 different laboratories, including CNES (the National Center for Space Studies in France) via the Magic scientific consortium, and the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), as part of from the University of Reims-Champagne-Ardenne (Urca).

Lilian Joly, of the CNRS, told France3: “We are interested in urban emissions and emissions from methane power plants.

The measurement, via the Urca Aérolab innovation project center, will be carried out using ground sensors and balloon releases in addition to the aircraft.

The Aerolab research center (Atmospheric Research and Observations LABoratory) aims to improve the monitoring of atmospheric emissions (greenhouse gases (GHG), ammonia (NH3) and aerosols) in the Grand Est region.

In a tweet, the lab said: “The Safire instrument research plane will be flying low over Reims to analyze the air. Don’t panic!”

Reims was chosen for this project because of the presence of “almost unique balloon release” infrastructure in France, and because it is a medium-sized city, which will help keep the manageable project, the team said. An adapted plane is also available to help you.

Data collected from the aircraft and balloons dropped will be collected, modeled and projected onto a “spatio-temporal map”, the experts added.

Discussions are ongoing with local authorities (including the Grand Reims town hall) on how the data could benefit the city, in particular if it could shed light on the Reims low emission zone (ZFEm), which aims to “reduce greenhouse gases”.

Related Articles

A zero-emission electric river boat in Paris makes 800 deliveries a day

Confusion over low-emission driving zones in France

Calls for a ban on private jets in France to fight climate change