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Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO)

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Status: Future, Formulation
Mission Category: Venture Class, Earth Venture-Instrument
Launch Date: 2017

The Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) mission will measure atmospheric pollution covering most of North America, from Mexico City to the Canadian tar/oil sands, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific hourly and at high spatial resolution. TEMPO’s measurements from geostationary orbit (GEO) of tropospheric ozone, ozone precursors, aerosols, and clouds will create a revolutionary dataset that provides understanding and improves prediction of air quality (AQ) and climate forcing.

TEMPO spectroscopic measurements in the ultraviolet and visible provide a tropospheric measurement suite that includes the key elements of tropospheric air pollution chemistry. Measurements are from geostationary orbit, to capture the inherent high variability in the diurnal cycle of emissions and chemistry. A small product spatial footprint resolves pollution sources at sub-urban scale. Together, this temporal and spatial resolution improves emission inventories, monitors population exposure, and enables effective emission-control strategies.

This instrument will take advantage of a geostationary (GEO) host spacecraft to provide a modest cost mission that measures the spectra required to retrieve ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), formaldehyde (H2CO), glyoxal (C2H2O2), aerosols, cloud parameters, and UV-B radiation. TEMPO thus measures the major elements, directly or by proxy, of the diurnal tropospheric ozone chemistry cycle. Multi-spectral observations provide sensitivity to ozone in the lowermost troposphere. TEMPO will also quantify the daytime temporal evolution of aerosol loading.

Key Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution Facts

Mission/Portal Page:
Altitude:Distance from sea level. 35786km
Origination: NASA
Instruments: UV and Visible Offner Grating spectrometer
Principle Investigator(s): Kelly Chance, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Science Goals:

  • Collect simultaneous high temporal and spatial resolution measurements of pollutants over Greater North America.
  • Measure the key elements in tropospheric ozone chemistry and aerosol cycles.
  • Observe aerosols and gases for quantifying and tracking evolution of pollution.
  • Integrate observations from TEMPO and other platforms into models to improve representation of processes.
  • Serve as the North American geostationary component of an international constellation for air quality monitoring.
  • Determine the diurnal instantaneous radiative forcings associated pollutants and other climate agents on the continental scale.