NASA Science Team Surveys California Fires with High-Altitude ER-2

A team of NASA scientists is using a high-altitude aircraft and a sophisticated imaging spectrometer to study environmental impacts caused by the devastating Southern California wildfires. NASA’s ER-2, based at Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California, flies as high as 70,000 feet (21,300 meters), almost twice as high as a commercial airliner. NASA uses the unique perspective of the ER-2 for science research missions over much of the world. This month, the aircraft has been flying locally over California, testing early versions of science instruments that may one day be launched into space on board a satellite to observe our home planet Earth.