Ultra-fine dust pollution from airports in Berlin (ULTRAFLEB)

An-124 on the horizon

The aim of ULTRAFLEB are stationary and mobile field measurements of ultrafine particles (UFP) and various other sizes in the vicinity of Berlin Brandenburg Airport BER as well as associated model calculations.

The project began in November 2020 and will end on 30 November 2024.

The following stations for the measurement of ultrafine particles (UFP) are operated in the framework of ULTRAFLEB:

  • Blankenfelde-Mahlow: 5 km west of the BER terminal, managed by TROPOS. In the immediate vicinity of the permanent air quality monitoring station Blankenfelde-Mahlow of the Brandenburg State Office for the Environment (LfU).
  • Berlin-Bohnsdorf: 6 km northeast of the BER terminal, managed by Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH (the operator of the Berlin airports).
  • Trailer measuring station, supervised by TROPOS & TU Berlin. This station is used temporarily at 2 different locations east of BER Airport (4 weeks per location. 1st campaign completed in autumn 2021, 2nd campaign planned in 2022).
  • Mobile measurements by car, bicycle and drone, carried out by the TU Braunschweig.

The stations and mobile measurements are equipped as follows:

  • All stations and mobile measurements: Condensation Particle Counter (CPC) for measuring the total number concentration of particles with a diameter greater than 7 nm.
  • All stations: Mobility Particle Size Spectrometer (MPSS) for measuring the number size distribution in the diameter range 10-800 nm.
  • TROPOS stations (Blankenfelde-Mahlow & Trailer): Cyclic alteration between measurement of all UFP and non-volatile UFP. Before reaching CPC & MPSS, sample air passes through a thermal denuder; when the thermal denuder is switched on, only non-volatile particles can pass.
  • All stations and mobile measurements: Measurement of the mass concentration of soot (elemental black carbon, eBC) using a Multi-angle Absorption Photometer (MAAP) or an aethalometer (also for drone measurements! For mobile measurements with a bicycle or car a MicroAethalometer is used).
  • All stations and mobile measurements: measurements of fine dust (PM10, PM2.5, PM1). In the case of the Blankenfelde-Mahlow station, these data are supplied by the nearby air quality monitoring station of the Brandenburg State Office for the Environment (LfU); at the other stations and for mobile measurements, these measurements are integrated into the stations or mobile instruments.
  • All stations: measurement of nitrogen oxides (NO/NO2), ozone (O3) and carbon monoxide (CO). The same peculiarity as above applies to Blankenfelde-Mahlow here.
  • All stations and mobile measurements: measurement of carbon dioxide (CO2).
  • Mobile measurements: weather data. In the case of stationary measurements, the meteorological data from BER Airport are used instead.

Commissioned by

Logo ULTRAFLEB

Umweltbundesamt (German Federal Environment Agency, UBA), Rsearch ID: FKZ 3720522010

Contractors

An-225 "Mriya" passing overhead

TROPOS, Leipzig: overall scientific management, stationary measurements, calibration of the instruments used.

TNO,  Netherlands: Management of modeling.

Technical University (TU) Braunschweig:  mobile measurements by car, bicycle & drone.

Technical University (TU) Berlin: stationary measurements.

Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH: stationary measurements, provision of data on flight movements and other activities relevant to air traffic, as well as of weather data.

Ingenieurbüro Janicke GbR Gesellschaft für Umweltphysik, Überlingen: Modeling.

IVU Umwelt GmbH, Freiburg im Breisgau: Modeling.

Partners

An-22 passing overhead

Brandenburg State Office for the Environment  (LfU): The data of the LfU air quality monitoring stations (especially stations Blankenfelde-Mahlow and Schönefeld, Flughafen, bith located on or close to BER airport) are used in the ULTRAFLEB project.

Berlin Brandenburg Air Study (BEAR)  - a study started in 2020 by the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the University Hospital Düsseldorf. Measurements of air quality (especially UFP) as well as parallel epidemiological studies with primary school children (class 3 & 4). Before-after comparison: TXL Airport was closed and BER (previously SXF) opened in November 2020. To support BEAR, TROPOS carried out UFP measurements at Berlin-Reinickendorf (4 km east of the TXL terminal) from July 2020 to June 2021. After that, the TROPOS station was relocated to the ULTRAFLEB project position in Blankenfelde-Mahlow close to the BER.

About BEAR see also the short German-language TV report Risikofaktor Feinstaub (risk factor fine dust) of 7 August 2021 (06:43 min) produced by the ARD magazine "W wie WISSEN" (ARD is  on of Germany's public-service broadcasters). From minute 4:30 also the TROPOS station is briefly shown, and Alfred Wiedensohler has a say.

Images

  • LfU monitoring station and TROPOS container in front of a school

    Mahlow primary school: permanent air quality monitoring station DEBB086 of the Brandenburg State Office for the Environment (LfU, coloured container) and TROPOS container (green). Looking west; overhead a plane taking off from the north runway.

  • TROPOS container on school grounds

    TROPOS container on the grounds of Mahlow primary school. Looking south; in the background a plane taking off from the south runway.

  • TROPOS container on school grounds

    TROPOS container (green) on the grounds of the Mahlow primary school (the painted container on the right belongs to the school). View to the east, with plane taking off from the north runway.

  • Look into the interiour of the ontainer

    TROPOS container Mahlow: Look into the interiour

  • TROPOS trailer in front of the cloud tower

    TROPOS trailer on the way to Berlin, with the TROPOS cloud tower in the background

  • TROPOS trailer on a grass patch

    TROPOS trailer behind the Humboldt primary school in Eichwalde, east of BER. Above, an airplane approaching the south runway of BER.

  • TROPOS trailer on a grass patch

    TROPOS trailer behind the Humboldt primary school in Eichwalde, east of BER. Above, an airplane approaching the south runway of BER.

  • TROPOS trailer on a grass patch during set-up

    TROPOS trailer behind the Humboldt primary school in Eichwalde during set-up.

  • Instruments inside the TROPOS trailer

    Look into the interiour of the TROPOS trailer.

  • Car of the TU Braunschweig

    Eichwalde primary school: Car of the TU Braunschweig, used for mobile measurements (the school served as basecamp).

  • TROPOS trailer on the grounds of a pumping station

    TROPOS-TRAILER on the grounds of the Karolinenhof pumping station of the Berlin water company. In the background, an aircraft pproaching the north runway.

  • Screenshot from flightradar24.com

    Flightpath of the ALADINA drone (TU Braunschweig) on October 11, 2021. Screenshot from flightradar24.com. The ALADINA flight took place near the approach lane of the north runway of BER (which was not used that day); an Easyjet plane (EZY51XQ) was just approaching the south runway.

  • Screenshot from flightradar24.com

    Detailed view of the flightpath of the ALADINA drone (TU Braunschweig) on October 11, 2021. Screenshot from flightradar24.com.

  • BER from far away

    BER airport seen from the Dörferblick (vilage view)

  • Aircraft starts at BER

    An aircraft starts at BER

  • Grass grows in tubes

    Near the fence of the BER: an experiment studying grass growth (not part of ULTRAFLEB)

  • Map of the area of the BER

    Map of the area around BER: Blue markings: TROPOS monitoring stations: TROPOS container Mahlow (5 km W of the BER terminal, 2.7.21-1.11.22. Next to the permanent air quality monitoring station DEBB086 of the Brandenburg State Office for the Environment, LfU). TROPOS trailer Eichwalde (7.5 km E of the BER terminal, 15.9.-11.10.21 & 7.7.-11.8.22) TROPOS trailer Karolinenhof (9 km NNE of the BER terminal, 13.10.-12.11.21 & 11.8.-1.11.22). Orange symbols: other monitoring stations: On the airport (eastern end of the north runway): permanent air quality monitoring station BBI-001 of the Brandenburg State Office for the Environment, LfU). Bohnsdorf: permanent station of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH (FBB), 6 km NE of the BER terminal Purple plane icon: ALADINA drone launch location, October 2021 Yellow symbols: elementary schools participating in BEAR