The flyovers are being conducted to measure naturally occurring background radiation.The measurement of naturally occurring radiation to establish baseline levels is a normal part of security and emergency preparedness. NNSA is making the public aware of the upcoming flights so that people who see the low-flying aircraft are not alarmed.
Residents will see a twin-engine Bell 412 helicopter, which is equipped with radiation-sensing technology and is operated by NNSA’s Remote Sensing Laboratory Aerial Measuring System at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C.
The helicopter will fly in a grid pattern over the areas at 150 feet or higher at a speed of approximately 80 mph. Flyovers will occur only during daylight hours and are estimated to take roughly three hours to complete per area.