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EPA’s Airborne Spectral Photometric Environmental Collection Technology (ASPECT)

Based near Dallas, Texas, and able to deploy within one hour of notification, ASPECT is the nation’s only airborne real-time chemical and radiological detection, infrared and photographic imagery platform. ASPECT is available to assist local, national, and international agencies supporting hazardous substance response, radiological incidents, and situational awareness. ASPECT is available 24/7/365 and can begin collecting data at any site in the continental US within nine hours.


ASPECT consists of a suite of sensors and software mounted in a single engine turboprop aircraft.  This system 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
  • Straw Neutron Detector
  • Digital Aerial Mapping Camera
  • Satellite Data/Communication System
  • Data Delivery Using Google Earth, ESRI and other formats

To request ASPECT assistance, please call: EPA’s Emergency Operations Center at 202-564-3850.

ASPECT (Airborne Spectral Photometric Environmental Collection Technology) Fact Sheet

ASPECT Webinar Presentation

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ASPECT Flight Schedule (subject to change)

Ongoing: Comprehensive Atmospheric Monitoring Program

The comprehensive atmospheric monitoring program is a joint monitoring program between the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and ASPECT. The purpose of the program is to develop and demonstrate how infrared remote sensing techniques can be used to conduct atmospheric carbon dioxide monitoring. The program will also estimate possible carbon dioxide sources from city sized areas.

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Past Flights

  • Fall 2016:  Pre-deployment to support state homeland security operations at the Albuquerque Balloon fiesta (Albuquerque, NM)
  • Fall 2016:  Radiological survey of the Jack pile Mine Site, Laguna, NM
  • Summer 2016:  Convert Refinery Fire, Convert, LA
  • Summer 2016:  Oil battery fire, Nageezi, NM
  • Summer 2016:  Radiological surveys in Niagara, NY
  • Summer 2016:  FEMA WINGS radiological exercise conducted in conjunction with the Department of Energy and the State of New Jersey
  • Summer 2016:   Field exercise with the State of Washington National Guard called Cascadia Rising (Seattle and Spokane, WA)
  • Winter 2016: Pre-Deployment to support the City of Pasadena HAZMAT operations for the 2016 Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl Game (Pasadena, CA)
  • Winter 2015: Pre-Deployment to support the City of Pasadena HAZMAT operations for the 2015 Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl Game (Pasadena, CA)
  • Fall 2014: Field Exercise with the State of Washington National Guard (Spokane, WA)
  • Fall 2014: ASPECT Open House in support of the CBRNe Convergence Conference and State and Local Emergency Management Officials (Long Island, NY)
  • Fall 2014: Pre-Deployment to support state homeland security operations at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta (Albuquerque, NM)
  • Summer 2014: Live Agent Field Exercise with National Guard’s 64th Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Civil Support Team (CST)
  • Spring 2014: Grand Canyon Radiological Survey
  • Spring 2014: Boston Marathon Pre-Deployment
  • Winter 2014: Tournament of Roses Parade, Rose Bowl, and BCS National Championship Game
  • Winter 2013: 2013 Inauguration Pre-Deployment
  • Winter 2013: 2013 Chemical Background Survey of the National Capitol Region (DC, VA, MD)
  • Winter 2013: 2013 NFL Super Bowl
  • Spring 2013: Radiological and Infrared Survey of Westlake Landfill and Coldwater Creek
  • Spring 2013: West Fertilizer Explosion, West, TX
  • Summer 2013: 2013 Boy Scout of America Jamboree
  • Summer 2013: 64th Civil Support Team Regional CBRN Full Scale Field Exercise

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Joint US EPA ASPECT and 64th CST Chemical and Radiological Field Exercise Report

EPA and Washington National Guard Region 10 Homeland Response Force and 10th Civil Support Team Radiological Field Exercise Report

ASPECT was featured in the Winter 2015 edition of Evergreen Magazine Exit.

Video: Evergreen Minute - Washington National Guard Exit

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