The NASA P-3B as Seen From the Ground during the DISCOVER-AQ Mission Flights
A photograph of the 117-foot P-3B NASA research aircraft flying low above a ground site in Beltsville, Md. on Friday, July 1, 2011.
The aircraft is part of a month-long field campaign designed to improve satellite measurements of air pollution. The name of the experiment -- Deriving Information on Surface conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality (DISCOVER -- AQ) -- is a mouthful, but its purpose is simple. Throughout July, the aircraft will be flying spirals over six ground stations in Maryland.
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.
Credit: NASA/Steve Cole