July 19, 2011

NASA Plans Air Pollution Flights Over Maryland on July 20

WASHINGTON, July 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The eighth science flight of NASA's DISCOVER-AQ air quality field campaign will take to the skies over the Baltimore-Washington traffic corridor and northeast Maryland on Wednesday, July 20, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT. Flights between the Washington Beltway and Baltimore will follow the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

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Flights by NASA's P-3B and UC-12 aircraft are 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.

The P-3B 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.

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

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


For more information about the DISCOVER-AQ mission, visit: