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Smoke Measurements Using a Tethered Miniblimp at the Newfoundland Offshore Oil Burn Experiment (NIST SP 995)



William D. Walton, W H. Twilley, Jay A. McElroy, D D. Evans, E J. Tennyson


Smoke measurements were taken during the 1993 Newfoundland Offshore Oil Burn Experiment using a helium filled miniblimp tethered to a vessel operated approximately 300 m downwind of the fire. The smoke sampling package suspended from the miniblimp consisted of sampling pumps which drew smoke through either a cascade impactor or filter and discharged gas samples into collection bags. The smoke yield and smoke particle size distribution were found to be similar to previous measurements made for crude oil. The smoke yields of 14.8 to 15.5% of the mass of the fuel burned were measured and 83% of the particulate mass was below 9.8 mum in diameter as measured with a cascade impactor. Measurements of temperature, wind speed, and wind direction taken before and after the burns from the ocean surface to an altitude of 300 m using the tethered miniblimp and a radio telemetry weather station are reported.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 995
Report Number


oil spills, smoke measurement, experiments, sampling, smoke yield, particle size distribution, in situ combustion


Walton, W. , Twilley, W. , McElroy, J. , Evans, D. and Tennyson, E. (2003), Smoke Measurements Using a Tethered Miniblimp at the Newfoundland Offshore Oil Burn Experiment (NIST SP 995), Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 23, 2024)


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Created March 1, 2003, Updated February 19, 2017