Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

UK-built satellite shines first light on air pollution
by Staff Writers
London, UK (SPX) Dec 07, 2017

One of the first images from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P mission shows nitrogen dioxide over Europe on 22 November 2017. It shows high emissions over the Po Valley in northern Italy and over western Germany. Nitrogen dioxide pollutes the air mainly as a result of industrial fossil fuel combustion and road traffic. Capturing a large part of Europe, this image also demonstrates Tropomi's swath width of 2600 km.

The first images from a satellite built in Stevenage that can map air quality across the globe have been released. Launched into orbit on 13 October, the Sentinel-5 Precursor monitors the atmosphere to help us understand the spread of key pollutants and their impact on our changing planet.

The prime contractor for the development and manufacture of the satellite, which is part of Europe's world-leading environmental monitoring programme - Copernicus, was Airbus Defence and Space, based in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.

Science Minister, Jo Johnson, said: "After only a few weeks in orbit, this UK-built satellite is delivering real results, shining a light on air quality and demonstrating the important role of the UK's space sector in tackling global challenges.

"Our Industrial Strategy, published earlier this week, sets out a bold vision for the UK to become the world's most innovative nation and highlights our commitment to work with industry to capture 10% of the global space market by 2030."

One of the first images shows nitrogen dioxide over Europe. Caused largely by traffic and the combustion of fossil fuel in industrial processes, the high concentrations of this air pollutant can be seen over parts of the Netherlands, the Ruhr area in western Germany, the Po Valley in Italy and over parts of Spain.

Another of the new images shows ash and smoke from the Mount Agung volcanic eruption on Bali, Indonesia, on 27 November 2017. As well as detecting different air pollutants, the mission also measures aerosols, as this image shows.

Data from the Sentinel satellites benefits the UK in areas such as emergency response and flooding, farming and environmental management, air quality, marine planning and fisheries. The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs and the UK Space Agency are championing the use of the satellite data for government policy making, scientific research and commercial services, as the data is also available to companies to create applications that help the wider economy.

The UK provides investment into the Copernicus programme through the European Union as well as additional UK Space Agency investment through the European Space Agency for the development of the Sentinel satellite technology and instruments.

Sentinel-5 Precursor is the sixth Copernicus Sentinel satellite. It carries the most advanced multispectral imaging spectrometer to date: Tropomi, developed by Airbus DS Netherlands for the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Netherlands Space Office. This state-of-the-art 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, however, 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, these first results exceed expectations. These new images offer a taster of what's in store once it has been fully commissioned for the task of mapping the entire planet every day with unprecedented accuracy, to take air-quality forecasting to a new level.

The resolution of the TROPOMI instrument is 7x7km2, a huge improvement compared to previous technology. Sentinel 5 Precursor can clearly identify and allocate the pollution caused by one city or industrial region, whereas this was impossible in the past.

Heavy nitrogen molecules reveal planetary-scale tug-of-war
Houston TX (SPX) Nov 29, 2017
Nature whispers its stories in a faint molecular language, and Rice University scientist Laurence Yeung and colleagues can finally tell one of those stories this week, thanks to a one-of-a-kind instrument that allowed them to hear what the atmosphere is saying with rare nitrogen molecules. Yeung and colleagues at Rice, UCLA, Michigan State University and the University of New Mexico counte ... read more

Related Links
UK Space Agency
Earth Observation News - Suppiliers, Technology and Application

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Aerospace and Mitchell Institute release new report on policy needs for space operations

The Voyagers in Popular Culture

NASA successfully fires Voyager 1 thrusters after 37 years

NASA Extends Expandable Habitat's Time on the International Space Station

ISRO eyes one rocket launch a month in 2018

Russia to build launch pad for super heavy-lift carrier by 2028

Flat-Earther's self-launch plan hits a snag

Mechanisms are critical to all space vehicles

Brown: Clay on Mars May Have Formed in Primordial Steam Bath

EU exempts fuel for ExoMars mission from Russian sanctions

Winter wanderings put Opportunity at 28 Miles on the odometer

Opportunity Greets Winter Solstice

Nation 'leads world' in remote sensing technology

China plans for nuclear-powered interplanetary capacity by 2040

China plans first sea based launch by 2018

China's reusable spacecraft to be launched in 2020

Regulation and compliance for nontraditional space missions

Orbital ATK purchase by Northrop Grumman approved by shareholders

UK space launch program receives funding boost from Westminster

Going green to the Red Planet

Seaweed could hold key to environmentally friendly sunscreen

Borophene shines alone as 2-D plasmonic material

New microscope sets a record for visualizing surface wetting properties

First step toward practical application of holographic memory with magnetic assist

First Light for Next Generation Planet Hunter ESPRESSO

An Orbital Dance May Help Preserve Oceans on Icy Worlds

The answer to planetary habitability is blowing in the stellar wind

Scallops have 200 eyes, which function like a telescope: study

Jupiter Blues

Research bolsters possibility of plate tectonics on Europa

Pluto's hydrocarbon haze keeps dwarf planet colder than expected

Jupiter's Stunning Southern Hemisphere

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement