Tropomi sneak preview on campus

Last year saw the successful launch of the environmental satellite, Tropomi. During an open lunch lecture, principle investigators Pieternel Levelt and Pepijn Veefkind will show and explain the first results.

Air pollution in North West Europe. (Image: Tropomi)

Tropomi, launched on 13 October 2017, is the large successor of OMI (Ozone Measuring Instrument), which has been in operation since 2004. OMI has established the longest global measurements series on nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide. It was initiated by Professor Pieternel Levelt (KNMI / TU Delft), as was the Tropomi satellite.

Tropomi’s spatial resolution (pixels measure 3.5 by 7 kilometres) is ten times bigger, which makes it possible not only to monitor air pollution but also pinpoint its origin. Preliminary maps show the Netherlands as a dirty northwest corner of Europe, in between the Botlek area and the German Ruhrgebiet.

Besides this, Tropomi also measures the greenhouse gases methane and ozone in the troposphere, after CO2 the most powerful factors in climate change.

Pieternel Levelt on the roof of the KNMI building near Utrecht. (Photo: KNMI)

“Satellite measurements are a reliable resource for monitoring air pollutants,” says Levelt. At present, the quantitative knowledge about air pollutants released into the atmosphere is based mainly on information provided by state services or companies. “Whereas a single satellite can monitor pollution all over the globe. They make excellent verification instruments, not just to measure pollution in the Netherlands, but worldwide.”

Take the opportunity to hear the first results direct from the mouths of Tropomi’s initiator, Professor Pieternel Levelt, and its main investigator and TU Delft associate Professor, Dr Pepijn Veefkind.

  • The Campus sneak preview will take place in the CiTG building, lecture hall A on Thursday January 11 from 12:40 – 13:30.

Science editor Jos Wassink

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