NASA to conduct air quality study

WASHINGTON (AP) - NASA says it will be sending aircraft over the Baltimore-Washington region beginning next week to help improve how satellites monitor air quality.

NASA says two aircraft will make a series of flights to measure gases and particles in the air. The flights will be coordinated with an extensive network of ground observation sites from the D.C. Beltway to northeast of Baltimore. NASA has scheduled a news conference Thursday morning to discuss the flyovers.

The space agency says satellites already monitor many components of air pollution, but it is difficult to use measurements from space to detect pollution near the ground. The multi-year study is designed to help improve the ability of satellites to measure conditions near the surface.