NASA workers prepare research airplane (Credit: NASA Langley/Sean Smith)
NASA plans to measure air pollution over the San Francisco Bay Area with the help of airplanes to determine if the air quality is dangerous to humans, Science World Report.
The airplanes will measure hydrocarbons and nitrous oxide present in the air between 1,000 and 26,000 feet to gauge if the pollutants are prevalent enough at low altitudes to have an impact on humans.
Most air quality testing is typically measured by satellites, which are ineffective at determining if pollution is close enough to the ground to be dangerous.
The data gathered by plane will be utilized by scientists to ascertain how air pollution typically fluctuates above the Bay Area and help them create a more efficient air pollution monitoring satellite.
Image: NASA workers prepare research airplane (Credit: NASA Langley/Sean Smith)