DCOTSS Salina Journal

You may see an unusual plane flying in and out of Salina over the next few weeks after Salina Regional Airport was chosen by NASA as the base for a research project.

The Dynamics and Chemistry of the Summer Stratosphere (DCOTSS) project began flights from Salina Regional Airport about two weeks ago and sees an aircraft travel upwards of 70,000 feet to look at strong thunderstorms in the stratosphere.

The project uses a NASA ER-2, a variant of the Lockheed U-2, equipped with 12 different scientific instruments to collect data in flight.

Kenneth Jucks, the project manager for NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Program, said the majority of the agency's scientific work is done with space-based data, but aircraft are used to enhance the science NASA conducts.