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One step away from accurately monitoring pollution from space



One step away from accurately monitoring pollution from space


A collaboration between NASA South Korea and the European Space Agency is working to create a satellite tool to monitor pollution.

With climate change as one of the main current concerns, the need to monitor pollution becomes imperative. And one of the formulas to do this could come from space. It would be a way to cover a huge number of areas that now only depend on sensors installed on land or in the oceans.

The plan has as protagonists the POT the South Korea space agency and the European Space Agency. In principle, the three entities will collaborate to carry out the same objective. It is about monitoring pollution more precisely and globally.

The first launch has corresponded to South Korea. Your GEMS (Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer) flew into space on February 18. Shortly after, she docked with a Korean satellite, which monitors the ocean surface.

The next step will be given by NASA. The US agency is expected launch its mission, identical in structure and purpose in 2022. It will also be a measuring instrument that will be attached to a communications satellite. And then it will be the turn of the European Space Agency. It will be in 2023 when this entity will launch two tools into space, which will join those it already has to monitor pollution.

The result will be a joint tool that can determine levels of nitrogen dioxide, aerosols and other compounds. Pollution can be measured hour by hour. But it will also be possible to know if the pollution that attacks a certain area has been generated there or elsewhere.

Formulas to monitor contamination

Air pollution is not the only thing to be controlled. There are a variety of projects aimed at monitoring other factors. The dirtiness of the water is another of the parameters that scientists want to have under control. Not only because of visible garbage but because of less visible compounds, such as microplastics.

And it should not be overlooked light pollution. This is one of the forms of pollution that receives the least attention. But the truth is that it also produces harmful effects on nature. Hence, there are initiatives to monitor it.

Images: NASA