ASPECT Super Cargomaster with PT-6A-114A

Here’s how Cesna describes the current ASPECT Super Cargomaster:

The ultimate aerial utility tool

Carry thousands of pounds of cargo at a distance of up to 905 nautical miles at up to 185 knots with the Super Cargomaster EX. The name says it all — this master of cargo hauling shares the same durable airframe and wing construction as its fellow Caravans and the same famed dispatch reliability. Engineered to take a beating, this workhorse will take off from short, rough strips in various weather conditions in all parts of the world.

IMG_3859The ASPECT Super Cargomaster aircraft is powered by a PT-6A-114A.  The PT6A turboprop engine is a powerhouse that offers unmatched performance, reliability and value in its class for a wide range of applications. From transporting people in business and airline aviation, to dropping cargo in the Antarctic darkness at 75 degrees below zero and supporting environmental efforts in reforestation programs, the dependability and versatility of the PT6A family continues to earn the highest respect from pilots worldwide.

Model PT6A-114A
Power 675 SHP
Diameter 19 ”
Length 62 ”
RPM 1900

The Super Cargomaster is part of the Cesna Caravan Family of aircraft.  The dispatch reliability of the Caravan models is unparalleled: a remarkable 99%+ rate. For more than 25 years, operators have relied on these aircraft to meet the most demanding mission parameters; they haven’t flinched yet. Considering the powerful PT6A turbine powerplant underneath the cowling, it’s easy to understand why.  This ultra-dependable engine from Pratt & Whitney Canada endows each Caravan model with exceptional payload capabilities. Factor in the inherent versatility, configurability and sheer ruggedness of the Caravan line, and the applications become virtually limitless.


ASPECTplane1 ASPECTcockpit


The Super Cargomaster’s airframe is constructed of durable aluminum and has multiple load redundancies and reliable remote operations.

Finally, here is Cesna’s assessment of the Caravan Super Cargomaster as a special mission aircraft:

In the context of special mission operations, there’s a sense of rightness to a Cessna Caravan: a confidence that comes with knowing you have availed yourself of the best possible resource for the job. The rugged construction of all Caravan models is reassuring in itself, and with the versatility and configurability to meet the ever-shifting parameters of a diverse array of special missions, the Caravan line is your rock-solid star performer—not afraid to get dirty, always ready for the field.

This design and capability makes the Caravan Super Cargomaster a good selection for the ASPECT aircraft, and a reliable platform for the ASPECT mission.

ASPECT: Flying for First Responders

 ASPECT provides infrared and photographic images with geospatial, chemical and radiological information within minutes to the first responder. The speed of transmitting this information permits a more efficient assessment of the extent and severity of damages to critical infrastructure during emergencies to minimize impacts to the American people, environment and the economy.

ASPECT is a screening tool that uses multiple sensors to support emergency responses, home­land security missions, environmental surveys, and climate monitoring missions. Data generated from these missions produce scientifically-valid products in a variety of formats to support the local, state, and federal operation centers. The ASPECT Team encompasses scientists, engineers, and public health experts all with advanced degrees, and more than 75 years of collective experience in airborne remote chemical or radiological detection and emergency response operations.

ASPECT is a 24/7/365 response-ready asset that can be wheels up within an hour of activation and be on station, collecting data, anywhere in CONUS within nine hours from its home base near Dallas, TX.

For more information about ASPECT, go to­rncmat.htm

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Based near Dallas, Texas, and able to be deployed within one hour of notification, ASPECT is the only airborne stand-off real-time chemical and radiological detection, infrared and photographic imagery platform available to assist local, national, and international agencies supporting hazardous substance response and radiological incidents in the US. ASPECT consists of a suite of sensors and software mounted in a twin-engine aircraft that, within a single pass of the aircraft, can generate data in a variety of formats to produce scientifically valid products within five minutes of data collection. Primary sensors and features include:

Infrared Line Scanner
High Speed Infrared Spectrometer
Gamma-Ray Spectrometers
Digital Aerial Cameras
Satellite Data System
Data Delivery Using Google Earth Display Tool
To request ASPECT assistance, please call EPA’s Emergency Operations Center at: 202-564-3850; or the National Call Center at: 800-424-8802.

For more information about ASPECT, visit…
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EPA ASPECT attends the Presidential Inauguration

The EPA ASPECT aircraft recently helped ensure the safety of the crowds which gathered for the successful inauguration.


The Washington Times article “Mapping a picture of Earth’s minute particles from the sky” includes this info (click link for the complete article)

For hours each night, a pilot flew a 1968 Aero Commander dual propeller airplane, crisscrossing the skies around the Capital Beltway. But because of what it carried, the plane actually is the only one of its kind in the country.

Inside, there’s a collection, among other technology, of infrared and gamma-ray spectrometers, a neutron detector, scanners, cameras and broadband satellite equipment that remotely transmit chemical and radiological data back to the scientists on the ground.

EPA ASPECT – On the Scene

On the scene, in the air, when needed, where needed.   The EPA ASPECT aircraft continues to provide on-scene commanders with the information they need to make critical decisions.
Algorithms, aircraft, and scientific analysis that allows state of the art detection at a higher sensitivity make the ASPECT program unique.   Wheels up on call make the program available when needed.  A solid, well developed and practiced concept of operations (CONOPS) makes ASPECT repeatable and reliable.

The Formula for getting Austin Ready for F1 includes Airborne ASPECT

Airborne ASPECT in the news:

The EPA’s Airborne ASPECT operations as described by KVUE news in Travis County, Texas:

Pilots will be flying an ASPECT aircraft. It’s a dual-propeller plane with “US EPA” written on both wings. The plane uses a scanner to collect air samples and test for chemicals, dirty bombs or improvised nuclear devices. The aircraft sends the data to emergency officials and first responders.

“Today is a baseline measurement of the air quality. They’ll be looking for any chemical or radiological qualities in the air,” said Block Wednesday.

The aircraft is commonly used when big events come to town. This is the first time it’s flown in Travis County, according to Block. The ASPECT has been used at the Superbowl, the World Series, the Olympics, the Columbia shuttle recovery and for hurricane damage.


Read More: KVUE News article

EPA ASPECT in Geospatial Today: Aiding Emergency Response

The EPA ASPECT program is highlighted in the June, 2012 edition of Geospatial Today.  In the article “Aiding National Response”, Paul Lewis describes the successful EPA ASPECT program.

According to the article, core requirements of the EPA ASPECT program included:

  • Cost-effective operation, maintenance and use of the aircraft
  • Affordable COTS sensor technology
  • Rapid dispatch/wheels up in under one hour after activation
  • Airborne data collection under cloud ceilings
  • Timely automated onboard data processing facilitating real or near-real-time chemical and radiological data analysis with low false alarm rates
  • High-resolution day/night ortho-rectified imagery
  • Data telemetry to and from the aircraft
  • All data, analysis products, and information must be geospatially registered
  • Seamless and direct integration of data and information to incident
    commanders: local, state, and federal joint operations centers
EPA ASPECT Response coverage graphic map of the USA

EPA ASPECT 3hr, 6hr & 9hr Response Coverage with 1 aircraft

The EPA ASPECT program as established meets these core goals.

A fundamental need in an emergency is to have equipment and teams available who can react quickly.  They must arrive on the scene of the emergency rapidly, and provide an assessment to the on-scene commander.  This enables decision making.  Every emergency situation is different, and often quickly evolving.  The EPA ASPECT program gives the on-scene commander an information edge.

Building a National EPA ASPECT Program

The EPA ASPECT aircraft and program team are on call and operational today.  They are prepared to be wheels up within one hour of first call.  Expansion of this successful program to establish a national network of similar on-call, properly equipped aircraft will allow complete national coverage.  With this national coverage, the EPA ASPECT program will scale gracefully to be ready to respond.  With the correct number of aircraft and appropriate sensor systems the program can provide emergency response to any incident in under three hours.

In the article, the author relates specific examples in which data from the EPA ASPECT program has improved emergency response.

He concludes:

The ASPECT Program model compiled by Dr Thomas for controlling cost and maintaining a 24 hour a day 7 days a week operational capability is directly applicable and scalable to a national program.

Proven technology, in service and operational today, makes a persuasive case for expanding our national resources.  The EPA ASPECT program is a successful model for expanding to a national scale.

Geospatial Today

Geospatial Today is a focused magazine that maps the diverse applicability of and innovations in the geospatial sector.

Airborne ASPECT, Inc

Airborne ASPECT, Inc provides aircraft services to the EPA under the ASPECT program.

ASPECT Mission: Assist II

ASSIST II is a  Fourier Transform – Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR)  sensor used as part of the Collaborative Atmosphere Measurement Program (CAMP).  CAMP is an effort sponsored by the US Government to scientifically gather verifiable data that will prove or disprove the theory of global warming.
Fourier transform spectroscopy is defined well on Wikipedia as a measurement technique whereby spectra are collected based on measurements of the coherence of a radiative source, using time-domain or space-domain measurements of the electromagnetic radiation or other type of radiation.
Operationally the ASSIST II  collects ground level water vapor and carbon dioxide data simultaneous with the ASPECT aircraft flying at 10k feet collecting mid-level data and a satellite overhead collecting high level data.  The two areas of operation are over the land and water of Lake Livingston and the land and water near Lamont, Oklahoma.
Data will be collected 4 times, summer, fall, winter and spring however the ASSIST II will collect continuously though out the 12 months.
To read more about EPA activities on Climate change please go to the EPA Climate Change site.

Airborne ASPECT, Inc.

Welcome to Airborne ASPECT, Inc.

  • Nation’s only 24/7 Airborne Chemical, Radiological, and Situational Awareness Remote Sensing Aircraft
  • Provides information to the first responder that is timely, useful, and compatible with numerous software applications
  • Multi-role responses (homeland security, emergency response,  and environmental characterization)
  • Provides infrared & photographic images with geospatial chemical and radiological information
  • ~128 Deployments since 2001
  • 5 Primary Sensors

  • Provide a readiness level on a 24/7 basis
  • Provide a simple, one phone call activation of the aircraft
  • Wheels up in under 1 hour from the time of activation
  • Once onsite and data is collected it takes about….~ 5 minutes to process and turn around data to first responders

Deployment Simplified:

  • Once on-scene collect chemical,  radiological, or situational data (imagery) using established collection procedures
  • Process all data within the aircraft using tested automated algorithms
  • Extract the near real time data from the aircraft using a broadband satellite system and rapidly QA/QC the data by a dedicated scientific reach back team
  • Provide the qualified data to the first responder enabling them to make informed decisions in minimal time