Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution

The Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) instrument is a grating spectrometer, sensitive to visible (VIS) and ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths of light with a spectral range of 290-490 + 540-740 nm and 0.6 nm spectral resolution. The TEMPO instrument is attached to the Earth-facing side of a commercial telecommunications satellite (Intelsat 40e) in geostationary orbit over 91˚ W longitude (about 22,000 miles above Earth’s equator). This allows TEMPO to maintain a continuous view of North America so that the instrument's light-collecting mirror can make a complete east-to-west scan of the field of regard hourly during daylight hours. By measuring sunlight reflected and scattered from the Earth's surface and atmosphere back to the instrument's detectors, TEMPO's ultraviolet and visible light sensors will provide measurements of ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and other constituents involved in the chemical dynamics of Earth’s atmosphere.

The primary mission objectives of TEMPO involve understanding the dynamics of air quality, pollution sources, and their impact on climate change. By providing near real-time data and comprehensive atmospheric composition measurements, TEMPO will assist scientists in studying pollution patterns, evaluating the efficacy of environmental policies, and predicting future trends in air quality.

TEMPO was launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Florida's Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on the commercial Maxar Technologies manufactured communications satellite Intelsat 40e on April 7, 2023. The instrument beamed back its first images on August 2nd, 2023. The TEMPO mission is a collaboration between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and NASA, supported by the NASA Science Mission Directorate.

The TEMPO Science Team released a limited set of unvalidated TEMPO data products on February 5, 2024. The primary purpose of this release is for users to become familiar with the file format and contents of TEMPO products. These TEMPO products should be considered preliminary and unvalidated. Users should refrain from making conclusive public statements regarding the science and applications of the TEMPO data products, and the data should not be used in publications or presentations.

A readme file describing the data products in this preliminary release and associated known issues can be found here.

For inquiries about this preliminary TEMPO data release, please contact or post/view questions on the  Earthdata Forum.

TEMPO L1 data are expected to be released publicly in February 2024. L2 and L3 data are expected to be released publicly in April 2024.

More information about TEMPO and the services the ASDC provides may be found in the TEMPO storymap

TEMPO Home Page

Disciplines:   Tropospheric Composition Aerosols Clouds