ER-2 NASA Aircraft

The NASA ER-2 is a high-altitude, moderate-speed aircraft. With a maximum performance altitude of 70,000 feet and a nominal performance altitude of 65,000 feet, the NASA ER-2 travels outside 95 percent of the Earth's atmosphere at approximately 410 knots with a range of 3,000 nautical miles.

The NASA ER-2 aircraft are operated by the High Altitude Missions Branch at NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

As part of NASA's Airborne Science and Applications Program, the NASA ER-2 aircraft are used to acquire data for Earth science research (e.g., agriculture, forestry, hydrology, geology, photogrammetry, oceanography, meteorology). These aircraft serve as platforms for a variety of sensors that collect data in support of NASA-sponsored scientific projects as well as projects involving other federal, State, university, and commercial investigators. Data from prototype and operational sensors flown aboard NASA ER-2 aircraft are used in applications, including the study of ozone depletion, agricultural biospheres, wildlife habitats, and forest wildfires. The NASA ER-2 aircraft are part of a fleet of airborne platforms that provide support to the Earth Science Enterprise initiative.

Source/Platform Parameters:

Crew: One pilot
Aircraft Length: 62 feet, 1 inch
Wingspan: 103 feet, 4 inches
Engine: One Pratt and Whitney J75-P-13B
Base of Operation: NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California
Flight Duration: 8 hours (6.5 hours nominal)
Payload Capacity: 600 pounds in nose, 750 pounds in equipment bay (also referred to as the Q-bay), 1,360 pounds in two wing pods (i.e., instrumentation areas and wing pods are pressurized)
Other Accommodations: Nadir viewport

Coverage Information:

Data are collected over selected areas of the conterminous United States, Alaska, and Hawaii from deployment sites in Kansas, Texas, Virginia, Florida, and Alaska. Aircraft have also been deployed to international sites, including Great Britain, Australia, Chile, and Norway.