When the Air Force dispatches aircraft to the Asia-Pacific to monitor the atmosphere for signs of nuclear activity from North Korea, it relies on its WC-135 Constant Phoenix nuke-sniffing planes. But with only two of those in the service’s inventory, it’s possible the WC-135s might not be able to respond to every contingency. Enter the ever-versatile C-130 Hercules, which now can be equipped with a modular kit that allows it to detect nuclear particles in the atmosphere. The Air Force spent $10.1 million in 2016 for two “Harvester Particulate Airborne Collection System” kits that can be strapped onto C-130H/Js and collect microscopic nuclear solids if the service can’t make its WC-135 aircraft available, said Susan Romano, a spokeswoman for the Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC), which is responsible for conducting nuclear surveillance for the Defense Department. The system operator first would use Harvester’s Directional Gamma Radiation Sensor (DGRS) to pinpoint the radioactive plume. This particular component consists of four large sodium iodide radiation detectors and a complex processing algorithm.