TEMPO pollution monitoring instrument passes critical NASA review

May 7, 2015 by Christine Pulliam, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
TEMPO pollution monitoring instrument passes critical NASA review

The Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) instrument passed a major milestone April 10, 2015 by successfully completing a critical NASA confirmation review. It has been confirmed by NASA's Science Mission Directorate to continue into the Phase C part of the project, in which the team completes the design that meets the science and measurement requirements, fabricates the instrument, and develops the ground system. TEMPO will measure North American air pollution hourly from geostationary orbit.

TEMPO will be completed in 2017 at a cost of no more than $93.2 million, excluding the launch vehicle and integration to the selected satellite platform. It will share a ride on a commercial satellite as a hosted payload.

Once deployed, TEMPO will acquire spectra of the Earth's atmosphere in ultraviolet and visible wavelengths. These will provide measurements of key pollution concentrations in the Earth's lower atmosphere, the troposphere. Measurements include ozone, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, sulfur dioxide, and aerosols.

TEMPO was competitively selected as the first NASA Earth Venture Instrument. Earth Venture missions, part of the Earth System Science Pathfinder program, are small, targeted science investigations that complement NASA's larger research missions. TEMPO is led by Principal Investigator Kelly Chance and Deputy Principal Investigator Xiong Liu, both at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, MA. The Instrument Project Manager, Wendy Pennington, and the Project Scientist, David Flittner, are at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA.

"The team is looking forward to continuing to the next phase of the project to build the TEMPO that will serve as the North American geostationary component for air-quality monitoring," said Pennington.

According to Chance, "TEMPO exploits thirty years of our development of ultraviolet and visible atmospheric spectroscopy to make air quality measurements at revolutionary spectral and spatial scales."

Explore further: New space sensor as a hosted payload to track air pollution across North America

Related Stories

NASA's ten-year-old Aura satellite tracks pollutants

July 17, 2014

(Phys.org) —NASA's Aura satellite, celebrating its 10th anniversary on July 15, has provided vital data about the cause, concentrations and impact of major air pollutants. With instruments providing key measurements of ...

Recommended for you

The powerful meteor that no one saw (except satellites)

March 19, 2019

At precisely 11:48 am on December 18, 2018, a large space rock heading straight for Earth at a speed of 19 miles per second exploded into a vast ball of fire as it entered the atmosphere, 15.9 miles above the Bering Sea.

OSIRIS-REx reveals asteroid Bennu has big surprises

March 19, 2019

A NASA spacecraft that will return a sample of a near-Earth asteroid named Bennu to Earth in 2023 made the first-ever close-up observations of particle plumes erupting from an asteroid's surface. Bennu also revealed itself ...

Nanoscale Lamb wave-driven motors in nonliquid environments

March 19, 2019

Light driven movement is challenging in nonliquid environments as micro-sized objects can experience strong dry adhesion to contact surfaces and resist movement. In a recent study, Jinsheng Lu and co-workers at the College ...

Revealing the rules behind virus scaffold construction

March 19, 2019

A team of researchers including Northwestern Engineering faculty has expanded the understanding of how virus shells self-assemble, an important step toward developing techniques that use viruses as vehicles to deliver targeted ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.