Satellite ‘shines a light’ on air pollution

Posted on 07 Dec 2017 and read 462 times
Satellite ‘shines a light’ on air pollutionLaunched into orbit on 13 October, the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite has delivered its first images of air pollution.

To mark this milestone, ESA, the European Commission and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) invited media representatives to a viewing.

The event, which included explanations about how the mission works and how it is set to benefit weather forecasting and the monitoring of air quality around the world, was held at DLR in Oberpfaffenhofen (near Munich) on 1 December.

Sentinel-5 Precursor (better known as Sentinel-5P) is the sixth Copernicus Sentinel satellite and carries the most advanced multi-spectral imaging spectrometer to date — Tropomi.

This instrument will map pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide and aerosols, all of which affect the air we breathe and our climate.

Since the satellite was launched, the instrument has been going through a planned decontamination process.

Now, the door that kept Tropomi sealed for this purpose has been opened, allowing light to enter and the first images to be taken; even at this early stage in the mission’s life, the first results have exceeded expectations.

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