Tropospheric Emissions Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO)

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Recently, NASA’s high-resolution air pollution monitoring instrument TEMPO was launched by the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

About Tropospheric Emissions Monitoring of Pollution:

  • It will monitor major air pollutants across North America.
  • Observations:
    • It will make important scientific observations, including that of ozone, nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide and formaldehyde levels.
    • It is capable of measuring air quality over North America hourly during the daytime with a resolution of several square miles.
    • It monitors the effects of everything from rush-hour traffic to pollution from forest fires and volcanoes.
    • The present pollution-monitoring satellites are in low Earth orbit (LEO), but this new monitoring instrument is hosted in geostationary orbit.
  • After this launch NASA has joined South Korea’s Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer and the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-4 satellite to become an air quality monitoring satellite constellation.


Q1) What is the troposphere?

The troposphere is the lowest layer of Earth's atmosphere, which extends from the surface up to an average height of about 7-20 kilometers (4-12 miles), depending on the location and season.

Source: SpaceX launches NASA’s TEMPO air quality monitoring instrument