Environmental Protection

NASA Plans Air Pollution Flight Over Maryland Today

NASA's DISCOVER-AQ air quality field campaign is scheduled to take to the skies over the Baltimore-Washington traffic corridor and northeast Maryland on Tuesday, July 5, from 5:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. EDT. Flights between the Washington Beltway and Baltimore will follow Interstate 95.

The flight is part of a mission to enhance the capability of satellites to measure ground-level air quality from space. DISCOVER-AQ, which stands for Deriving Information on Surface conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality, is a NASA Earth Science Division research effort conducted in collaboration with the Maryland Department of the Environment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and several universities.

NASA's P-3B research aircraft will fly at low altitudes over the study region. The P-3B is a large, 117-foot, four-engine turboprop. It will fly as low as 1,000 feet above the ground. The P-3B also will make spiral ascents and descents over six locations where air-quality measurements are being made from ground stations.

Approximately 14 DISCOVER-AQ flights are planned through July when weather conditions are appropriate. NASA will announce each flight by 5 p.m. the day before the aircraft is scheduled to fly.

A detailed map of the P-3B's low-altitude flight path is available at:

http://go.usa.gov/ZiP

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