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EARTH OBSERVATION
Ball Aerospace Moving Ahead on TEMPO and GEMS Air Quality Sensors
by Staff Writers
Boulder CO (SPX) Apr 29, 2014


TEMPO will, for the first time, make accurate observations of atmospheric pollution with high spatial and temporal resolution over North America, from Mexico City to the Canadian tar/oil sands, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Two powerful Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. air quality sensors are on their way to providing future environmental monitoring to support the quality of life on Earth.

Ball is building nearly identical geostationary ultraviolet visible spectrometers: the Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) instrument for NASA Earth Venture, and the Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer (GEMS), being jointly developed by Ball and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), South Korea. Both instruments will complete critical design in 2015 and be delivered in 2017.

"The simultaneous build of the TEMPO and GEMS spectrometers is allowing us to capture multiple design and affordability efficiencies between the two instruments," said Rob Strain, Ball Aerospace president.

"Both instruments are similar from a technical basis, and the duplicate build allows recurring and non-recurring cost savings in design, procurement and hardware manufacturing for both customers."

TEMPO will, for the first time, make accurate observations of atmospheric pollution with high spatial and temporal resolution over North America, from Mexico City to the Canadian tar/oil sands, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

TEMPO will provide hourly daylight measurements of ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, formaldehyde, glyoxal and other pollutants to create a revolutionary dataset that provides understanding and improves air quality (AQ) and climate forcing.

TEMPO is the first NASA Earth Venture Instrument mission and will be the first UV-visible air quality spectrometer in geostationary orbit. The spectrometer's two-axis scan mirror will use valuable heritage from other highly successful Ball programs. TEMPO will share a ride on a yet unidentified commercial satellite as a hosted payload to an orbit about 22,000 miles above Earth's equator.

The GEMS spectrometer is designed to monitor trans-boundary pollution events for the Korean peninsula and Asia-Pacific region. The spectrometer provides high spatial and high temporal resolution measurements of ozone and its precursors.

Hourly measurements by GEMS will improve early warnings for potentially dangerous pollution events and monitor long-term climate change. GEMS is manifested on KARI's GEO-KOMPSAT-2B geostationary satellite for a 2018 launch.

The GEMS instrument is the Asian element of a global air quality monitoring constellation of geostationary satellites that includes the TEMPO spectrometer.

For more than 30 years, Ball Aerospace has been a recognized industry leader in developing advanced spectrometers. Ball recently provided the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite aboard the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership and is building a similar instrument for the Joint Polar Satellite System.

Historically, Ball was the primary supplier of spectrometers for the Hubble Space Telescope including the Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph, Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, and the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph.

"Since 1970, Earth Day has been celebrated on April 22 to show support for environmental protection and we are eager to further contribute to the sustainability of the planet when these instruments begin operations," added Strain.

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