Earth Science Instrument to Measure Air Pollution

Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution
Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution

An Earth science instrument to measure air pollution over North America has completed development by Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colorado, and has been formally accepted by NASA.

NASA and Principal Investigator Kelly Chance from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, partnered with Ball to design, manufacture and test this Earth science instrument.

The rigorous environmental test campaign conducted by Ball verifies the Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution, or TEMPO, instrument will survive all of the challenges related to launch, as well as sustained operations in geostationary orbit.

[ Read: Clean Climate Environment News Magazine ]

TEMPO will be the first space-based instrument to monitor major air pollutants across the North American continent hourly during daytime. In doing so, it will revolutionize air quality forecasts and emission control strategies, and enable effective early public warning of pollution events.

TEMPO is the first instrument to be awarded by NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder Program in the Earth Venture Instrument (EV-I) Class Series.

TEMPO is a UV-visible spectrometer, sensitive to visible and ultraviolet wavelengths of light. It detects pollutants and other elements of atmospheric chemistry by measuring sunlight reflected and scattered from the Earth’s surface and atmosphere back to the instrument’s detectors.

Photo: NASA

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Rakesh Raman