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 to http://www.epa.gov/osweroe1/content/partners/cbrncmat.htm
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.
Paul Lewis discusses ASPECT, an airborne suite of sensors that provides critical data in emergencies, including the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
In 2001 the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Airborne Spectral Photometric Environmental Collection Technology (ASPECT) Program became the United States only civil 24/7 operational airborne chemical, radiological, and situational awareness reporting capability. The ASPECT model of operation combines an airborne operational remote sensing suite with a research and development support team to provide essential situational awareness information to first responders and their local, state and federal lead agencies in accordance with the National Contingency Plan and EPA’s responsibility under Emergency Support Function 10 of the National Response Plan.
The ASPECT aircraft was deployed to Gulfport, Mississippi to provide airborne remotely sensed air monitoring and situational awareness data and products in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster. Flying over 75 missions that included more than 250 hours of flight operation, ASPECT’s initial mission responsibility was to provide air-quality monitoring (i.e., identification of vapor species) during various oil burning operations. The ASPECT airborne wide-area infrared remote sensing spectral data was used to evaluate the hazard potential of vapors being produced from open-water oil burns near the Deepwater Horizon rig site. Later, it was used to aid in the identification of surface oil that could reach beaches and wetland areas.
In this video, Paul Lewis describes the instrumentation on ASPECT and how the various imagers and sensors are used to respond to disasters in near real time.
Lewis is program manager and scientist for the ASPECT Research and Development Program at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. He was interviewed at SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing 2011.