Tropospheric Emissions Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) Instrument

Why in the News?

  • A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has recently launched the Tropospheric Emissions Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) instrument from Florida.


  • TEMPO is a NASA device that can track air pollution over North America from space. It will allow scientists to monitor air pollutants and their emission sources down to the neighbourhood level.
  • The TEMPO Instrument is a grating spectrometer, sensitive to visible and ultraviolet wavelengths of light.
  • TEMPO is hosted on an Intelsat communications satellite in geostationary orbit.
  • It will be able to measure atmospheric pollution down to a spatial resolution of 4 square miles or neighbourhood level.
  • TEMPO will have multiple applications from measuring levels of various pollutants to providing air quality forecasts and helping the development of emission-control strategies
  • More than 40% of the US population live in places with unhealthy levels of particle pollution or ozone, and air pollution is blamed for some 60,000 premature deaths a year.
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