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 http://www.epa.gov/emergencies/conten…
For more about EPA: http://www.epa.gov/
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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.

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.