KORUS-AQ: An International Cooperative Air Quality Field Study in Korea
US Steering Group: Jassim Al-Saadi, Gregory Carmichael, James Crawford, Louisa Emmons, and Saewung Kim
Korean Steering Group: Chang-Keun Song, Lim-Seok Chang, Gangwoong Lee, Jhoon Kim, and Rokjin Park
Air Quality is an environmental concern of fundamental importance across the globe. The need to monitor and understand air quality requires continual effort as populations grow, energy use increases, and industrial activity evolves. Air quality goals have also evolved as improved understanding of health effects has demonstrated the added benefit of setting lower targets for exposure of humans and ecosystems to ozone, fine particles, and other toxic pollutants in the air. Long-term efforts have relied primarily on ground-based observations to diagnose regions of poor air quality and modeling to develop mitigation strategies. In recent years, satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) have demonstrated the ability to observe the critical constituents affecting air quality. However, the impact of LEO observations has been limited by their infrequent nature and coarse resolution with respect to source distributions and timing (approximately once per day at horizontal scales of tens of km), insufficient to observe the details of air quality events that can develop over timescales of a single day. The promise of geostationary (GEO) observations as a vantage point for studying air quality can overcome these problems by providing observations many times throughout the day and at higher spatial resolution by taking advantage of longer viewing times. The drawback of GEO is the limited viewing domain, preventing global observations with a single satellite. This has led to an international effort to launch a constellation of satellite instruments focused on air quality over Asia, North America, and Europe. These instruments will provide hourly observations of those regions throughout the day at horizontal resolutions of better than 10 km. The funded GEO atmospheric chemistry instruments expected to launch in 2018-2019 include GEMS by the Republic of Korea, TEMPO by the US, and Sentinel-4 by Europe (Figure 1). Also, with its planned launch in 2016 the Sentinel-5 Precursor (S5P) mission will begin providing the next generation of once-daily global measurements from LEO at horizontal resolution similar to the GEO missions.
See the Science Overview page for mission related documentation.