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Multi-Source emission determination using an inverse-dispersion technique

Flesch, T.K., Harper, L.A., Desjardins, R.L., Gao, Z., Crenna, B.P. (2009). Multi-Source emission determination using an inverse-dispersion technique, 132(1), 11-30.


Inverse-dispersion calculations can be used to infer atmospheric emission rates through a combination of downwind gas concentrations and dispersion model predictions. With multiple concentration sensors downwind of a compound source (whose component positions are known) it is possible to calculate the component emissions. With this in mind, a field experiment was conducted to examine the feasibility of such multi-source inferences, using four synthetic area sources and eight concentration sensors arranged in different configurations. Multi-source problems tend to be mathematically ill-conditioned, as expressed by the condition number κ. In our most successful configuration (average κ = 4.2) the total emissions from all sources were deduced to within 10% on average, while component emissions were deduced to within 50%. In our least successful configuration (average κ = 91) the total emissions were calculated to within only 50%, and component calculations were highly inaccurate. Our study indicates that the most accurate multi-source inferences will occur if each sensor is influenced by only a single source. A "progressive" layout is the next best: one sensor is positioned to "see" only one source, the next sensor is placed to see the first source and another, a third sensor is placed to see the previous two plus a third, and so on. When it is not possible to isolate any sources κ is large and the accuracy of a multi-source inference is doubtful. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009.

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