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TOMORROW: Media Briefing on Air Quality Research Flights

Release Date: 06/22/2011
Contact Information: Mollie Lemon (News Media Only), lemon.mollie@epa.gov, 202-564-2039, 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON – EPA will participate in a media teleconference hosted by NASA 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 has been a challenge to use these measurements of the atmosphere 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. EPA is partnering with NASA and several other organizations on the effort.

The campaign is called DISCOVER-AQ, which stands for Deriving Information on Surface Conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality. It will use two NASA aircraft to make a series of flights in July to measure gaseous and particulate pollution. Flights will be coordinated with extensive ground observations at various sites in Maryland extending from the Washington Beltway to northeast of Baltimore.

The teleconference participants are:

    - Jim Szykman, research engineer, EPA Office of Research and Development, Hampton, Va.
    - Terry Keating, environmental scientist, EPA Office of Air and Radiation, Washington
    - Jim Crawford, DISCOVER-AQ principal investigator, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
    - Ken Pickering, DISCOVER-AQ project scientist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
    - Dave J. Krask, atmospheric chemist, Maryland Department of the Environment, Baltimore, Md.
To participate in the teleconference, reporters need to 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: http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio