Ball Aerospace-built Geostationary Air Quality Instrument Launches Successfully
by Staff Writers
Boulder CO (SPX) Feb 19, 2020
The Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer (GEMS) instrument, jointly developed by Ball Aerospace and Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) under the leadership of Ball Aerospace, launched successfully on Feb. 18, 2020. GEMS was integrated onto KARI's GEO-KOMPSAT-2B satellite.
Once operational in space, GEMS will be the first air quality sensor in geostationary orbit where it will help monitor pollution events in the Korean peninsula and Asia-Pacific region.
"GEMS is a result of more than 30 years of innovation in advanced spectrometers at Ball Aerospace," said Dr. Makenzie Lystrup, president and general manager, Civil Space, Ball Aerospace. "Data from GEMS will enable KARI's mission to assess and forecast air pollution by identifying sources and distribution of pollutants in the atmosphere."
Ball Aerospace led GEMS development under a contract with KARI for the National Institute of Environmental Research in the Ministry of Environment of South Korea. GEMS will make hourly measurements of key constituents that make up air pollution, including ozone and nitrogen dioxide, which will improve early warnings for potentially dangerous pollution events.
GEMS is one part of a global air quality monitoring constellation of geostationary satellites that will include NASA's Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) spectrometer. Ball completed TEMPO in September 2018 for NASA Langley Research Center and Harvard Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. TEMPO is scheduled to launch in 2022.
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The fingerprints of paddy rice in atmospheric methane concentration dynamics
Norman OK (SPX) Feb 04, 2020
A University of Oklahoma-led study shows that paddy rice (both area and plant growth) is significantly related to the spatial-temporal dynamics of atmospheric methane concentration in monsoon Asia, where 87% of paddy rice fields are situated in the world. Methane is one of the major greenhouse gases. It has a lifetime of 12.4 years and its global warming potential is approximately 86 times higher than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. "Rice paddy is a large source of methane emission; ho ... read more
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