Sentinel-5p/TROPOMI: Mapping air quality in unprecedented detail
Last week, on October 13, 2017, the European satellite Sentinel-5 Precursor (Sentinel-5p) was launched
from the Russian Cosmodrome of Plesetsk on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA).
Its payload contains a single instrument, the TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI), that is designed to analyse
the chemical composition of the Earth's atmosphere in unprecedented detail.
The UV-VIS/DOAS group and other scientists from the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) are strongly involved in the analysis of TROPOMI's data.
In June 2017, the BIRA-IASB UV-Vis DOAS group participated in a 12 day scientific measurement campaign
in and around the main crater of the Nyiragongo volcano (in the Virunga Volcanic Province, Democratic Republic of Congo)
as part of a BBC documentary expedition. The aim of the campaign was to collect scientific data with
different types of instruments (seismic, infrasound detectors, temperature data loggers, weather stations, and several types of cameras) in order to better understand the
physical mechanisms that drive volcanic processes in the region. This multidisciplinary campaign included 15 scientists from ECGS, EPIC, BSU, GVO, KMMA-MRAC, ULg/UH and BIRA-IASB.
In September 2016 our team will participate in the CINDI-2 campaign, to be held in Cabauw, the Netherlands. CINDI stands for Cabauw Intercomparison of Nitrogen Dioxide Measuring Instruments and involves the comparison of a host of ground-based DOAS instruments for measuring atmospheric Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) amounts...
The AROMAPEX campaign was held in Berlin in April 2016. AROMAPEX was supported by the European Commission through Eufar and by the European
Space Agency (ESA) in the framework of its Copernicus Earth observation programme. The campaign was
coordinated by BIRA and included 12 research groups from Belgium (BIRA, VITO), Germany (Universities of Berlin, Bremen,
and Heidelberg, MPIC, DLR), Romania (INCAS, University of Galati), and the Netherlands (University of Delft, KNMI, TNO).
Installation of a MAXDOAS instrument in Antarctica
Belgium has a long history of Antarctic exploration and scientific activities, dating back to the first
expeditions to Antarctica under the lead of Adrien de Gerlache in 1897. BIRA-IASB already operates a CIMEL instrument since February 2009 at
the Princess Elisabeth station. In the frame of the AEROCLOUD project, Christian Hermans will install a MAXDOAS instrument this winter (December 2015).
The BIRA MAX-DOAS and the sunphotometer are highly
complementary, since their synergistic use provides information on integrated and vertically
resolved aerosol properties.
Belgian urban NO2 monitoring based on APEX remote sensing
On April 14 and 15, 2015 a curious plane could be spotted above Belgium.
The Dornier DO-228 airplane, operated by Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR),
was carrying out measurements with the Airborne Prism EXperiment instrument.
APEX is an airborne pushbroom hyperspectral imager developed by a Swiss-Belgian consortium on behalf of ESA.
The objective of this campaign is to map the nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
spatial distribution at high resolution... Read more
Recently a new algorithm for retrieving tropospheric nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
vertical column densities (VCDs) from ground-based zenith-sky (ZS)
measurements of scattered sunlight was published in AMTD. The method is
based on a four-step approach consisting of... Read more
In preparation of the upcoming TROPOMI/Sentinel-5 Precursor mission, we
have developed a new retrieval algorithm for SO2 vertical columns and
applied this scheme to 10 years of observations by the OMI/Aura
instrument... Read more
The Airborne ROmanian Measurements of Aerosols and Trace gases (AROMAT)
campaign was held in Romania during the first two weeks of September
2014. AROMAT took place in the framework of the ESA Copernicus Earth
observation programme and was coordinated by BIRA. AROMAT included seven
other research institutions from Romania (University of Galati, INOE, and
INCAS), Germany (Universities of Bremen, Berlin, and MPIC) and the
High resolution global maps of trace gases from OMI
In the framework of the preparation of the ESA Sentinel-5 Precursor (S5-P)
mission, which is planned for launch in early 2016, UV-Vis retrieval
expert scientists at BIRA-ASB have been working on the derivation of high
quality tropospheric trace gas data products derived from the heritage
Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) flying on board of the NASA AURA
platform since 2004.
The Kelut eruption on the island of Java has produced a large ash and SO2
cloud that has been tracked by polar orbiting satellite instruments (IASI
and GOME-2 onboard MetOp-A and MetOp-B, OMI on Aura, and AIRS on
Aqua). The ash has reached high altitudes where commercial aircraft fly
and is a significant hazard to aviation. Three airports on Java have been
closed and air routes from Australia to Singapore, Bangkok and beyond affected.
Installation of a MAXDOAS and a CIMEL in Burundi
End of November 2013, BIRA-IASB has installed a MAXDOAS instrument and a CIMEL photometer at the top of the Sciences Department of the University of Burundi at Bujumbura. read more