AQcast: Complex Air Quality Models Made Simple
Many air quality models require a great deal of time to compile and gather all the necessary input files and information, even for experienced users. Detailed photochemical models such as CMAQ, CAMx, and WRF-Chem are very complex models with many knobs and switches to turn requiring the user delve into the manual to figure the best options for their scenario. Once these models have been successfully prepared to run they are very computationally expensive, with even simple configurations taking several hours or days to run.
AER's AQcast modeling system contains a wide variety of air quality models and their preprocessors and deploys them on the Amazon Web Service (AWS) cloud. These pre-compiled and easy to use program packages can be accessed by outside users via the web using a secure interface. AQcast automatically collects the needed inputs and runs the models on the AWS cloud, requiring NO use of your local machines. In addition, using the AWS cloud allows each model to use an unlimited amount of CPUs and RAM to reduce runtime.
AER Air Quality Modeling Services
AERMOD - EPA approved dispersion model for NAAQS and other hazardous air pollutants. Using our AQcast system on the Amazon cloud, AER can run AERMOD and all of its pre-processors including (bpipprm, aermap, aermet, aerminute, and aersurface) for your facility with your provided source parameters and facility location. For more information or a quote, please contact Amy McVey.
AERMET Meteorological Data - Precursor to EPA's AERMOD model that processes National Weather Service observations and/or onsite meteorological data for input into AERMOD. Using our AQcast system, AER can process and provide AERMOD ready meteorology data for your site. For more information or a quote, please contact Amy McVey.
AERMOD Easy Reference Links
- USGS National Map Viewer for Elevation, Imagery, and Topography data
- EPA National Emissions Inventory
- EPA Daily Monitor Data
- EPA SCRAM Site - AERMOD
AQcast - A scalable, automated system for air quality modeling on the Amazon cloud. AQcast simplifies complex air quality modeling, speeding up projects and reducing their costs. AQcast includes many meteorological, emission, and chemical transport models:
- Meteorology: AER’s nCast system for the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model
- Emissions: US EPA National Emission Inventory (NEI) modeling platform, including the SMOKE model, for US; EDGAR (anthropogenic), MEGAN (biogenic), and FINN (fires) for the rest of the globe
- Chemical transport model: Choice of US EPA CMAQ model, WRF-Chem, or CAMx, including the pre-processors for each
- Dispersion Models: AERMOD and SCICHEM
For more information or a quote, please contact Matthew Alvarado.
ASP (Aerosol Simulation Program) - ASP simulates the gas-phase, aerosol-phase, and heterogeneous chemistry of young biomass burning smoke plumes, including the formation of O3 and secondary inorganic and organic aerosol and estimation of aerosol optical properties. It has been used in several studies of the air quality and climate impacts of biomass burning, and has been incorporated into the Lagrangian particle dispersion model STILT and the large eddy simulation System for Atmospheric Modeling (SAM). For more information or a quote, please contact Matthew Alvarado.
CAMx (Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions) - CAMx is a multi-scale photochemical modeling system for simulating gas and particulate air pollution similar to the US EPA’s CMAQ model. CAMx is able to simulate air quality over many geographic scales and treat a variety of inert and chemically active pollutants, such as ozone, particulates, mercury, and toxics. CAMx can also be used to conduct source attribution, sensitivity, and process analyses. For more information or a quote, please contact Chantelle Lonsdale.
CMAQ (Community Multiscale Air Quality Modeling System) - The US EPA’s CMAQ model is used to translate fundamental atmospheric science principles to support air quality management. CMAQ is used by researchers and states agencies to effectively and efficiently characterize air quality and protect human health, as well as to develop and assess implementation actions needed to attain National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). CMAQ simulates many air pollutants of concern, such as ozone, particulate matter (PM), and other air toxics. The National Weather Service also uses CMAQ to produce twice-daily forecast guidance for air quality across the US. For more information or a quote, please contact Chantelle Lonsdale.
CMAQ Easy Reference Links
- FINN - Fire Inventory from NCAR
- UNC CMAQ Webpage
- EPA CMAQ Webpage
- UNC Community Modeling and Analysis System (CMAS) Webpage (Links to CMAQ Pre- and Post-processors)
MEGAN (Model for the Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature) - MEGAN is a widely used model that can produce biogenic emissions (e.g. trees, crops, plants) based on land type, plant distributions, and relevant meteorological factors (i.e. temperature, humidity, sunlight). MEGAN is a global model, and thus can be used in global climate-chemistry models as well as in regional air quality models such as CMAQ. At AER, we use MEGAN biogenic emissions within a variety of our models including CMAQ and STILT-ASP. For more information or a quote, please contact Jennifer Hegarty.
MOVES (MOtor Vehicle Emission Simulator) - MOVES is a state-of-the-science emission modeling system that estimates emissions for mobile sources at the national, county, and project level for criteria air pollutants, greenhouse gases, and air toxics. AER uses MOVES to examine how local and regional air quaity is affected by changes in traffic patterns and in off-road mobile source emissions. For more information or a quote, please contact Ben Brown-Steiner.
SCICHEM - SCICHEM is a version of the SCIPUFF (Second-order Closure Integrated Puff) model that includes chemistry. SCIPUFF is a Lagrangian model that uses Gaussian puffs to calculate species concentrations based on input source parameters. It is similar to EPA's AERMOD, but includes chemistry calculations and therefore may be used for permitting or attainment demonstrations of primary/secondary pollutants with agency approval. AER's AQcast system on the AWS cloud can run SCICHEM with options to use WRF grided meteorology or National Weather Service (NWS) observations as inputs as well as CMAQ background concentrations. For more information or a quote, please contact Amy McVey.
SCICHEM Easy Reference Links
STILT (Stochastic Time-Inverted Lagrangian Transport model) - STILT is a Lagrangian particle dispersion model that can simulate the transport of atmospheric constituents over time and space and can be used to determine the source locations and relative strengths of anthropogenic pollutants and natural emissions. STILT is built on the programming architecture of the NOAA HYSPLIT model, but contains several distinct features including a reflection/transmission scheme that preserves well-mixed particle distributions and the ability to directly use convective mass fluxes generated by the WRF model. When run backward-in-time from receptors, the STILT system can be used to estimate contributions of specific emission sources to measured atmospheric species concentrations at the receptor locations. For more information or a quote, please contact Jennifer Hegarty.
STILT Easy Reference Links
SMOKE (Sparse Matrix Operator Kerner Emissions) Modeling System - SMOKE is an emission modeling system that is used to convert annual, county-level emission inventories into gridded, hourly emission files for use in photochemical air quality models like CMAQ and CAMx. AER uses SMOKE to prepare emissions files for these models for different domains, horizontal resolutions, and chemical mechanisms, including the use of custom emission inventory data for selected areas. For more information or a quote, please contact Ben Brown-Steiner.
SMOKE Easy Reference Links
WRF (The Weather Research and Forecasting model) - WRF is an advanced numerical weather prediction system that is used world-wide for both research and operational applications. The model system incorporates terrain, land use, and atmospheric and ocean data, and provides treatments of all physical processes such as topographical flows, heat and water fluxes, the influence of the urban landscape, planetary boundary layer processes such as turbulence and vertical mixing, clouds and precipitation processes and solar and terrestrial radiation. AER uses the state-of-the-art Advanced Research WRF (ARW) to treat the physical processes. AER runs WRF on the AWS cloud and employs it to perform research on weather systems, and to provide meteorological data for AERMOD, SCICHEM, and CMAQ. For more information or a quote, please contact Jennifer Hegarty.
WRF-Chem - WRF-Chem can provide high-resolution regional photochemical air quality modeling for any region of the globe. The AQcast system on AWS dramatically reduces the time necessary to complete these simulations, including the preparation of the necessary input data. For more information or a quote, please contact Chantelle Lonsdale.
WRF Meteorological Data for CALPUFF - Using our nCast system on AWS, AER can provide CALMET ready data using CALWRF or CALPUFF ready meteorology data using MMIF. AER can run WRF at any resolution required by the user for their specific multi-year project. For more information or a quote, please contact Amy McVey.
WRF Easy Reference Links
WRF-Chem Easy Reference Links
- Official WRF-Chem Webpage
- WRF-Chem Pre-processors and Development Activities at NCAR
- FINN - Fire Inventory from NCAR
- PNNL WRF-Chem Model Research and Development