“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.”