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Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO)

Chance, K., X. Liu, R. M. Suleiman, D. E. Flittner, J. Al-Saadi, and S. J. Janz (2013), Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO), Proc. SPIE, 8866.

TEMPO was selected in 2012 by NASA as the first Earth Venture Instrument, for launch circa 2018. It will measure atmospheric pollution for greater North America from space using ultraviolet and visible spectroscopy. TEMPO measures from Mexico City to the Canadian tar sands, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific, hourly and at high spatial resolution (~2 km N/S×4.5 km E/W at 36.5°N, 100°W). TEMPO provides a tropospheric measurement suite that includes the key elements of tropospheric air pollution chemistry. Measurements are from geostationary (GEO) orbit, to capture the inherent high variability in the diurnal cycle of emissions and chemistry. The 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. TEMPO takes advantage of a commercial GEO host spacecraft to provide a modest cost mission that measures the spectra required to retrieve O3, NO2, SO2, H2CO, C2H2O2, H2O, aerosols, cloud parameters, and UVB radiation. TEMPO thus measures the major elements, directly or by proxy, in the tropospheric O3 chemistry cycle. Multi-spectral observations provide sensitivity to O3 in the lowermost troposphere, substantially reducing uncertainty in air quality predictions. TEMPO quantifies and tracks the evolution of aerosol loading. It provides near-real-time air quality products that will be made widely, publicly available. TEMPO will launch at a prime time to be the North American component of the global geostationary constellation of pollution monitoring together with European Sentinel-4 and Korean GEMS.