NASA Low Flights Over Laurel Area in July 2011

City of Laurel Press Release Jul 05, 2011
Carreen D. Koubek, City of Laurel, 
8103 Sandy Spring Rd., Laurel, MD  20707
301-725-5300 ext. 2109

Mayor Craig A. Moe would like the public to be made aware that two NASA research airplanes will be flying over northeast Maryland to study urban air quality and help scientists improve their ability to measure ground-level air pollution from space. The field campaign is called DISCOVER-AQ, which stands for "Deriving Information on Surface Conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality." The flights are being conducted in cooperation with the Maryland Department of the Environment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and several universities.
One of the aircraft, NASA's P-3B, will be flying at low altitude -- about 1,000 feet. Approximately 14 flights are planned, started no earlier than June 27 and will end by July 31. Specific flight dates have not yet been scheduled but will be determined based on weather conditions. Announcements of P-3B flights will be posted to this website,, by 6 p.m. the day before a flight is planned. Flight times can range from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The low-altitude P-3B flights will be easily viewable along the Interstate 95/Baltimore-Washington Parkway traffic corridor from the Washington Beltway northeast to Baltimore and continuing on to the Delaware State line. The flight path will also pass over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge near Annapolis. Each flight will follow the same route, shown as a yellow line on the map. The aircraft will retrace this route several times during a day's flight, which can last up to 8 hours.
One such flight already took place on July 1 over the route shown below
06.30.11 - NASA's DISCOVER-AQ air quality field campaign is scheduled to take to the skies over the Baltimore Washington traffic corridor on Friday, July 1, from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. EDT.

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