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article imageSentinel-5P pollution monitoring satellite ready for launch

By Karen Graham     Jul 23, 2017 in Science
A new Earth-observing satellite is ready for launch later this year that will give scientists data on air quality, ozone, and climate change. The satellite is an integral part of the Copernicus global monitoring program.
Last year, the European Space Agency (ESA) launched the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter to Mars, looking for the presence of methane, a key tracer for life, on the red planet.
This year, in a time-frame from September to October, the ESA will launch the UK-built Sentinel-5P, a pollution monitoring satellite. The satellite is being readied for its journey from the Airbus Defence and Space facility in Stevenage, to the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia where it will be launched.
On July 20  2017  media representatives  members of the UK Space Agency and National Centre for Eart...
On July 20, 2017, media representatives, members of the UK Space Agency and National Centre for Earth Observation had the chance to see this Copernicus air-pollution monitoring satellite standing proud in the cleanroom.
The Sentinel-5P is the first Copernicus satellite solely dedicated to monitoring the Earth's atmospheric chemistry, 24-hours a day, every day. The satellite's instruments, as it orbits over 800 kilometers (497 miles) above Earth, are expected to produce one million gigabytes of data that's about the same as 213,000 DVD movies, reports Press TV.
The TROPOMI is an advanced spectrometer and is part of a joint initiative between ESA and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The TROPOMI will do atmospheric monitoring at high temporal and spectral resolution and increased cloud-free observation.
The Sentinel-5P will measure pollution across individual countries, providing data on Ozone NO_2, SO_2, Formaldehyde, Aerosols, Carbon dioxide, Methane, and Clouds, according to the ESA website. The monitoring is in support of air quality, climate, and ozone operational monitoring programs.
TROPOMI UVN (UV-UVIS-NIR) Module  Accommodated on the UVN Optical Bench Module (Credit: TNO  Airbus ...
TROPOMI UVN (UV-UVIS-NIR) Module, Accommodated on the UVN Optical Bench Module (Credit: TNO, Airbus DS-NL).
“A system like this has never existed before,” says Josef Aschbacher, Director of Earth Observation Programmes, European Space Agency," reports the Guardian. The US and other partners are looking to Europe to make deals to get access to this data.”
Another exciting discovery by this writer is the TROPOMI website that provides readings of the different monitoring parameters once the satellite is launched and becomes operational. The website user can get detailed data on a particular orbit or just opt for a real-time projection of data as it comes in. There is supposed to be a three-hour lapse between the instrument's readings and download on the ground.
It is obvious the data collected by this mission will be useful in a lot of ways, from getting accurate measurements of volcanic ash flow in providing better air safety, to being able to issue a warning during periods of high UV radiation. Most importantly, the data sent back will help us to improve our management of the environment.
More about Sentinel5P, atmospheric chemistry, Climate change, Esa, UKbuilt
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