Scientists have connected an air quality sensor to its satellite host, which will significantly improve how they assess air pollution across North America.
The Palo Alto, California-based Space Program Delivery team at Maxar integrated the NASA Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) instrument with Intelsat 40e.
From its geostationary orbit, a high Earth orbit that enables satellites to align with Earth’s rotation, TEMPO will monitor the air quality hourly during the day over a region that stretches from Puerto Rico to northern Canada, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and includes the entire continental United States.
According to Kevin Daugherty, project manager for TEMPO at NASA‘s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, “we are excited to have completed this significant step toward launching with the IS40e spacecraft because of the hard work and dedication of the entire TEMPO team, including our Maxar, Intelsat, and Ball Aerospace partners.”
The instrument integration and spacecraft testing will be finished in the upcoming months, bringing us one step closer to delivering TEMPO’s crucial air quality science.
The ecosystem and human health may suffer significantly as a result of air pollution, which includes ozone, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, and small atmospheric particles called aerosols.
TEMPO, which is currently slated for launch in 2022, will also be a part of a “virtual constellation” of air quality satellites that will provide a more comprehensive understanding of how pollution is transmitted around the Northern Hemisphere. The TEMPO instrument was made by Ball Aerospace in Broomfield, Colorado.
The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory’s Kelly Chance in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is the project’s lead researcher.
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