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NASA Briefs Media on Air Quality Research Flights Over Maryland

June 21, 2011

NASA will hold a media teleconference at 11 a.m. EDT on Thursday, June 23, to preview the upcoming series of aircraft research flights over the Baltimore-Washington traffic corridor to study urban air pollution.

NASA research satellites monitor many air pollution components, but it is a challenge to use these measurements from space to detect pollution near the ground. This multi-year airborne field campaign will help improve the capability of satellites to measure near surface-level atmospheric composition.

The campaign is called DISCOVER-AQ, or Deriving Information on Surface Conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality. Beginning next week, two NASA aircraft, one of which will fly at low altitude, will make a series of flights to measure gaseous and particulate pollution. The flights will be coordinated with extensive ground observation sites in Maryland from the D.C. Beltway to the northeast of Baltimore.

The teleconference participants are:

– Jim Crawford, DISCOVER-AQ principal investigator, NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.

– Ken Pickering, DISCOVER-AQ project scientist, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

– Dave Krask, atmospheric chemist, Maryland Department of the Environment, Baltimore

– Jim Szykman, research engineer, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research and Development, Hampton

– Terry Keating, environmental scientist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Air and Radiation, Washington

To participate in the teleconference, reporters must contact Steve Cole at 202-358-0918 or stephen.e.cole@nasa.gov for dial-in instructions. Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live on NASA’s website at: http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio




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