In January 2011, EPA Region 4 initiated a joint ground-based radiological survey effort among the EPA Environmental Response Team (ERT), EPA Region 4, and the Department of Energy (DOE) Remote Sensing Laboratory (RSL) of a portion of the Coronet Superfund Site, near Plant City, Florida. During the ground-based survey effort, an aerial radiological survey was performed over the same area by the EPA Airborne Spectral Photometric Environmental Collection Technology (ASPECT) Program. Funding for the aerial survey was provided through an interagency agreement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Nuclear Incident Response Team (NIRT) Program.
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The ASPECT aircraft used the following flight procedures for data collection on January 19, 2011:
- Altitude above the ground level (AGL): 300 feet 500 feet
- Target Speed: 100 knots (115 mph)
- Line Spacing: 300 feet
- One second data collection frequency
A unique feature of the ASPECT remote sensing technologies includes the ability to process spectral data automatically in the aircraft with a full reach back link to the program QA/QC program. As data is generated in the aircraft using the pattern recognition software, a support data package is extracted by the reach back team and independently reviewed as a confirmation to data generated on the aircraft.