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STAQSSynergistic TEMPO Air Quality Science

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    NASA’s Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of POllution (TEMPO) mission is planned to launch in early 2023 to provide geostationary observations of air quality over North America. With this addition of high-resolution satellite measurements, the Synergistic TEMPO Air Quality Science (STAQS) mission seeks to integrate TEMPO satellite observations with traditional air quality monitoring to improve understanding of air quality science and increase societal benefit. STAQS will be conducted in summer 2023, targeting two primary domains in Los Angeles and New York City and several secondary domains across North America with ground and airborne based measurements.

    Click to view higher resolution image
    Map of the annual average of TROPOMI NO2 column density measurements April 2018-March 2019 showing the currently planned primary (solid circles) and secondary (dotted circles) sampling domains during STAQS within the TEMPO field of regard (black outline).

    The framework for STAQS stems from measurements strategies and collaborations developed during airborne air quality studies from the last decade. For STAQS, NASA is collaborating with partners conducting complementary air quality studies in 2023 (AEROMMA, CUPiDS, GOTHAAM) to build a synergistic observing system more robust than any singular entity could provide alone. This growing list of partners include federal agencies, regional air quality consortiums, state air quality agencies, and academic institutions.

    The overall objective of STAQS is to improve our current understanding of air quality science under the TEMPO field of regard. Specific goals include, but are not limited to:

    •   » Evaluating TEMPO level 2 products geo-physically, spatially, and temporally
    •   » Interpreting the temporal and spatial evolution of air quality events tracked by TEMPO
    •   » Improving temporal estimates of anthropogenic, biogenic, and greenhouse gas emissions
    •   » Assessing the benefit of assimilating TEMPO data into chemical transport models
    •   » Linking air quality patterns to socio-demographic data
    Airborne Air Quality Remote Sensing:
    The airborne air quality TEMPO-proxy payload will be installed on Johnson Space Centers G-V, which has two remote sensing portals providing a nadir point of view over areas mapped. Over the course of summer 2023, this payload will operate up to 150 flight hours collecting data with the GeoCAPE Airborne Simulator (GCAS) and combined High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL)-2 + Ozone Differential Absorption lidar (DIAL). This payload was first demonstrated on this platform during the TRACER-AQ mission in September 2021 and provides repeated high-resolution mapping of NO2, HCHO, ozone, and aerosols up to 3x per day over targeted cities to capture the spatiotemporal evolution of air quality due to emissions, meteorology, and chemistry.
    NASA JSC G-V during preflight in Houston, TX on September 9th, 2021 (left) and the NASA LaRC G-III in Michigan on June 5th, 2021 (right). Photo credits: Laura Judd
    Airborne Greenhouse Gases Remote Sensing:
    To compliment the air quality measurements from the G-V, a greenhouse gas focused payload will be flown on the Langley Research Center G-III to measure city-scale emissions 2x day over targeted cities. The combined active/passive remote sensing payload includes the High Altitude Lidar Observatory (HALO) and Airborne Visible InfraRed Imaging Spectrometer - Next Generation (AVIRIS-NG). HALO will provide city-scale view of column methane using the DIAL technique and profiles of aerosol cloud optical properties employing the HSRL technique.
    AVIRIS-NG will provide city-scale mapping of methane and carbon dioxide columns in a similar manner to GCAS on the G-V. These datasets will provide high resolution data to connect lessons learned from localized co-emissions of pollutants measured by TEMPO (e.g., NO2) and GHGs for cross-benefit climate/air quality analysis.

    Continuous tropospheric ozone profiles add a critical component needed to understand processes relevant to air quality and pollution transport with TEMPO. The NASA Tropospheric Ozone Lidar Network (TOLNet) will contribute to STAQS most heavily in the New York City domain (four systems operated by NASA, NOAA, and CCNY) with possible additional support in the Los Angeles and Toronto areas where JPL and ECCC operate two additional systems, respectively.

    Pandora Spectrometers:
    Pandora spectrometers consist of a ground-based UV-VIS spectrometer capable of operating in direct-sun DOAS or multi-axis(MAX)-DOAS mode and is the primary validation instrument for the TEMPO mission. Currently, at least 20 Pandoras are operating as part of the Pandonia Global Network in the domains of interest for STAQS. Products from this instrument include NO2, HCHO, and Ozone.
    Pandora head sensor operating in Huntsville, Alabama.
    Credit: Bob Swap/NASA

    Ground based monitors:
    STAQS aims to leverage existing monitoring networks operated by the EPA and state air quality agencies within the domains sampled during STAQS. Relevant parameters include, but are not limited to, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, and meteorology.

    Other aircraft:
    The collaborative activities associated with STAQS (AEROMMA, GOTHAAM, CUPiDS) include other airborne payloads with in situ and remote sensing measurements relevant to TEMPO air quality science on board the NASA DC-8, NOAA Twin Otter, and NSF C-130 aircrafts.

    Planning team:
    Laura Judd (Mission Scientist/Airborne Lead) email
    John Sullivan (Mission Scientist/Ground Lead/TOLNet PI)email
    Jim Crawford (Science Advisor) email
    Barry Lefer (Program Manager)email
    Michael Shook (Data Manager) email
    Gao Chen (Data Manager) email
    Tyler Thompson (G-V Manager)email
    Brendan Finnegan (G-V Mission Planner)email
    Tom Hanisco (NASA Pandora Project PI)email
    Jim Szykman (EPA Science Liaison)email
    Luke Valin (EPA Science Liaison) email
    Scott Janz (GCAS PI) email
    John Hair (HSRL-2 PI) email
    Amin Nehrir (HALO PI) email
    Robert Green (AVIRIS-NG PI) email

    Collaborative Activities:
    Looking to get involved or learn more about STAQS? Contact us: and/or

    NASA - National Aeronautics and Space
    Curator: Ali Aknan
    NASA Official: Dr. Gao Chen

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