NOAA Enlists Recon Aircraft in Spill Assessment

Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will use its ER-2 (Earth Resources-2) aircraft to provide high-resolution images of the threatened Gulf shoreline. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) requested the assistance from NASA.

The ER-2 is a derivative of the Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance aircraft, which the U.S. Air Force has used since the 1950s. The high-altitude surveillance aircraft, which can fly at altitudes greater than 70,000 feet, is equipped with a highly specialized scanner called the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) system.

NASA, which operates the ER-2 from its Dryden Flight Research Center in California, uses the aircraft for environmental science, atmospheric sampling, and satellite data verification missions. According to NOAA, high-resolution photos taken from the plane will help it to forecast spill trajectories and conduct mass balance calculations. NASA also has employed satellite instruments to detect the extent of the entire oil spill as well as see details of the extent of selected spill areas.

More info on the Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill


Our Privacy Pledge

Deepwater Horizon Images
Building Pollution Containment Chambers Gathered concentrated oil burns Macondo BOP Oil Leak Smoke from Deepwater Horizon (Apr 21)
Smoke Rising from Horizon (Apr 22) Macondo Subsea Oil Containment Diagram ROV Cutting the Macondo Riser Discoverer Enterprise
71 more images view image library

Brent Crude Oil : $53.96/BBL 0.35%
Light Crude Oil : $51.36/BBL 0.21%
Natural Gas : $3.209/MMBtu 0.34%
Updated in last 24 hours