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Research Laboratory Conducting Tests
The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) will be conducting a series of tests for aircraft systems over the coastline at their Chesapeake Bay Detachment through Tuesday, July 31. Part of that time period is devoted to the setup and takedown of the equipment with actual helicopter flights scheduled through July 29. Weekend testing is not currently scheduled. However, depending on the weather, it may be necessary to conduct some flights on weekends.
A Navy CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter and a MH-60R Seahawk helicopter will be used in the tests and will be visible, flying at low altitude above the bay off the coast of CBD. There will be specially equipped vans parked on the NRL/CBD property which are used for collecting data during the tests.
As part of the tests, the helicopters will dispense small flares while in flight. The flares, which are visible but not harmful to the human eye, will appear like the flash of light from a bright lamp, lasting about six seconds. The flares will be deployed at one or two kilometer distances from the shore and a smoke trail may be visible as the material burns. However, the flares will be deployed at an altitude where they will be extinguished before they reach the water.
Federal agencies are required to prepare an environmental impact study when a proposed major action may result in significant adverse environmental impacts. The laboratory conducted an environmental review and found that the research will not result in, or have the potential to result in, significant adverse impacts on the human environment, including endangered/threatened species, human safety, or cultural and historic items. The laboratory has documented all proposed actions in a categorical exclusion statement. Ground and flight safety measures have been put in place that will ensure the safety of personnel conducting the testing and the safety of the general public.
The research involves a spud barge with equipment to collect data, which will be positioned to the southeast of the Camp Roosevelt Pier. The remainder of the equipment will be located in the southernmost area of the NRL property. The helicopters will fly to a specific, predetermined test points during the actual test activities, with all test points well within the confines of the restricted areas. Flights have been scheduled with and approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and will be under continued communication with the Patuxent River Naval Air Station, from which the flights will generate.
For more information contact the NRL Public Affairs Office at 202-767-2541.
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