Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

CIRES Special Seminar: Dr. Pieternel Levelt

OMI, TROPOMI, TROPOLITE: towards 1 x 1 km2 Air Quality and Emission monitoring 

by Prof. Dr. Pieternel Levelt - Department Head R&D Satellite Observations KNMI, Professor University of Technology Delft, OMI Principal Investigator

Abstract: The Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI), launched on board of NASA’s EOS-Aura spacecraft on July 15, 2004, provides unique contributions to air quality monitoring from Space. The combination of urban scale resolution (13 x 24 km2 in nadir) and daily global coverage proved to be key features for the air quality community. The OMI data is currently used operationally for improving the air quality forecasts, for inverting high-resolution emission maps, UV forecast and volcanic plume warning systems for aviation. Due to its 12 year decade long continuous operation OMI provides the longest NO2 and SO2 record from space, which is essential to understand the changes to emissions globally. 

In 2016 Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI), the successor of OMI, will be launched on board ESA’s Sentinel 5 Precursor satellite. TROPOMI will have a spatial resolution of 7x7 km2 in nadir; a more than 6 times improvement over OMI. The high spatial resolution serves two goals: (1) emissions sources can be detected with even better accuracy and (2) the number of cloud-free ground pixels will increase substantially. TROPOMI will be an important satellite mission for the EU Copernicus atmosphere service and will be followed by ESA’s sentinel 4 and 5 satellites. 

In the coming decades air pollution in megacities will continue to be a major area of concern and the need for timely, high resolution information on emissions will increase, preferably to a level where sources can be isolated on the < 1 x 1 km2 scale.  Currently we are working on new follow-on satellite instrumentation, TROPOLITE, that is designed to fly on small satellites. With this instrument we envisage to improve emission monitoring of megacities to the < 1 x 1 km2 spatial resolution level. TROPOLITE can be e.g. viewed as an add-on to the Copernicus suite of atmospheric satellite instruments, adding high-resolution potential to the Copernicus backbone. 

An overview of air quality applications, emission inventories, and trend analyses will be given, based on the excellent OMI data record. An outlook will be presented on the potentials of the TROPOMI and the new TROPOLITE instrument in the air quality domain. First measurements with TROPOLITE on board of an aircraft will be presented.  


Friday, December 9, 2016
10:00am to 11:00am


CIRES Auditorium