• 13 Apr 2023

Recently, NASA has launched the Tropospheric Emissions Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) instrument, which can track air pollution over North America from space.

  • TEMPO will monitor air pollutants and emission sources down to the neighborhood level more comprehensively than ever before.
  • It will measure pollution and air quality across greater North America on an hourly basis during the daytime, covering Puerto Rico up to the tar sands of Canada.
  • TEMPO will be hosted on an Intelsat communications satellite in geostationary orbit, which is a common orbit for weather and communication satellites.
  • It will stay over the same location, North America, at all times as it matches the rotation of the Earth in a geostationary orbit 22,236 miles (35,786 kilometers) above the equator.
  • The pollutants tracked by TEMPO will include nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, and ozone.
  • The data collected by TEMPO will be used by agencies responsible for tackling atmospheric pollution, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
  • The data will be made available online for members of the public to monitor air quality information in their local area.