First Air-Quality Monitoring Satellite of the Copernicus Programme on show in the UK

Posted by ap507 at Jul 20, 2017 01:07 PM |
Sentinel-5 Precursor to provide essential air-quality and atmospheric chemistry data

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 20 July 2017

Images and video material from the National Centre for Earth Observation are available here:

The National Centre of Earth Observation (NCEO) at the University of Leicester welcomes the completion of Sentinel 5-Precursor for launch this year.

Sentinel-5 Precursor is part of the global monitoring programme for environment and security (Copernicus), a joint undertaking of the European Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA), and it will be the first satellite of the Copernicus programme to provide essential air-quality and atmospheric chemistry data. 

The spacecraft development of Sentinel-5 P was led by the Airbus team in Stevenage, UK where the instrument is on show on 20 July before it is shipped to northern Russia for launch. ESA will operate the ground segment including data processing and distribution.

Scientists from NCEO will be part of the science community using the data collected by the TROPOMI instrument, which was developed and provided by the Dutch Space Office, on board Sentinel-5 P to map out key pollutants that are harmful to human health and contribute to climate change.

Sentinel-5 P will be major step-change in the way we monitor air quality from space. 

Sentinel-5 P will map out the whole globe within a day with much finer detail than possible from any other satellite before which will allow us to detect pollution hotspots from space and to monitor the distribution of pollutants within urban regions.

Dr Hartmut Boesch, from The National Centre for Earth Observation at the University of Leicester said: “Air pollution and climate change are some of the most pressing environmental issues of our time and the measurements from Sentinel 5-P will allow us to make a huge step forward in our understanding of emissions of key pollutants such as nitrogen oxide or methane.”

The Sentinel-5 Precursor mission will be the main mission for atmospheric trace gas data for the Copernicus service before the Sentinel-5 instrument becomes operational in 2021. The wealth of satellite data will be transformed into value-added information by the Copernicus Service supporting a wide range of applications in different domains including health, environmental monitoring, renewables energies, meteorology, and climatology.


About the National Centre for Earth Observation

The National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO) is a distributed centre with over 80 scientists from UK institutions, led by Professor John Remedios at the University of Leicester. It provides NERC with national capability in Earth observation science and incorporates world-class capabilities in interpretive Earth observation to meet the needs of society through long-term core science and translation of knowledge and environmental data for government and business.

NCEO has world-class capabilities in processing and analysing the vast quantities of data generated by satellites, aircraft and ground-based instruments to monitor and understand global and regional environmental change.

For more information contact Rosie Leigh from the University of Leicester on  

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