The campaign, known as Atmospheric Carbon and Transport-America (ACT-America) is meant to stretch over multiple years as it measures concentrations of both carbon dioxide and methane as they relate to weather systems across the US. The study will obtain real-time measurements from both ground stations and airborne crafts to try and get to the bottom of the sources and sinks of the gases themselves.
The flights will utilize NASA's C-130H and King Air B-200 aircrafts. Both will collect data to compare with other measurements taken from satellites at the same time and location.
The special ACT-America flights will be based at three separate locations as well, including NASA's Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia and Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia. Additional flights will be based out of Lincoln, Nebraska and Shreveport, Louisiana.
These flights are the first of five that are planned for the future, and each will take around six weeks to complete.