Washington D.C. [USA], Mar 10 (ANI): NASA, European Space Agency (ESA) and South Korea have joined their hands to set up a 'virtual constellation' of space instruments that will track global air quality each hour.
The first space instrument launched as a part of the collaboration was the South Korean Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer (GEMS), which was shot into the geostationary orbit on February 18, reported The Verge.
The instrument has been mounted on a satellite belonging to Korea which is assigned the task of monitoring the ocean surface.
According to The Verge, NASA revealed in a recent briefing that in 2022, it would be launching a nearly identical device piggybacked on a communication satellite.
Following its peers, ESA is set to send two instruments into space that would join its pre-existing fleet of air quality tracking satellites. The first launch is scheduled for 2023.
The information collected by the constellation would enable scientists to monitor air pollutants such as formaldehyde, smog, aerosols and nitrogen dioxide.
The hourly updates would keep tabs on spurts of air pollution that emerge periodically such as during rush hour traffic or when powerplants are turned on to meet increased electricity demands, The Verge informed further.
The spaceborne devices would be capable of telling whether the air pollution over a certain region was generated there itself, or drifted to that location from somewhere else. (ANI)