GEO-CAPE GEOSTATIONARY COASTAL AND AIR POLLUTION EVENTS

LAUNCH: 2013–2016

MISSION SIZE: Medium

ORBIT: GEO

AGENCY: NASA

ESTIMATED COST: $550 million

AREAS OF INTEREST: Ecosystems, Health, Water, Weather

INSTRUMENTS: High-spatial-resolution hyperspectral spectrometer, low-spatial-resolution imaging spectrometer, infrared correlation radiometer

BENEFITS:

Predictions of impacts from oil spills, fires, water pollution from sewage and other sources, fertilizer runoff, and other environmental threats

Detection and tracking of waterborne hazardous materials

Monitoring and improvement of coastal health

Improved forecasts of air quality

The growing concentration of people living near coasts is exerting enormous pressure on coastal ecosystems. The impacts include declining fisheries, harmful algal blooms, and more than 20 persistent “dead zones” worldwide, including the Mississippi Delta. The twin stressors of climate change and population growth create an imperative to monitor changes in coastal oceans. At the same time, poor air quality threatens human and ecosystem health in many parts of the world. The current observation system for air quality is inadequate for measuring human exposure to pollutants and for crafting emissions control strategies.


The suite of instruments aboard GEO-CAPE will improve observations of coastal ocean health and air quality across the Americas. From a point in space above roughly 80°W longitude, two spectrometers will sense reflected sunlight within several narrow wavelength bands. One spectrometer will scan at the continental scale, providing hourly data at a resolution of 7 kilometers. It will measure natural and human-produced substances in rivers and oceans as well as gases and aerosols in the atmosphere, including those that react in sunlight to form polluting low-level ozone. The other spectrometer is a steerable imager that can gather data at a resolution of 250 meters on high-impact events such as large-scale fertilizer runoffs, industrial accidents, and other environmental disasters.

An infrared correlation radiometer will measure carbon monoxide (CO) in tandem with the continental-scale spectrometer. Together, they will allow for vertical CO profiles that help trace the long-range transport of pollution.



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earth Science and applicatiOnS frOm Space  GEO-CAPE GEOSTATIONARY COASTAL AND AIR POLLUTION EVENTS LAUNCH: 2013–2016 MISSION SIZE: medium ORBIT: Geo AGENCY: nasa ESTIMATED COST: $550 million AREAS OF INTEREST: ecosystems, health, Water, Weather INSTRUMENTS: high-spatial-resolution hyperspectral spectrometer, low-spatial-resolution imaging spectrometer, infrared correlation radiometer BENEFITS: Predictions of impacts from oil spills, fires, water pollution from sewage and other sources, fertilizer runoff, and other environmental threats Detection and tracking of waterborne hazardous materials monitoring and improvement of coastal health improved forecasts of air quality the growing concentration of people living near coasts is exerting enormous pressure on coastal ecosystems. the impacts include declining fisheries, harmful algal blooms, and more than 20 persistent “dead zones” worldwide, including the mississippi Delta. the twin stressors of climate change and population growth create an imperative to monitor changes in coastal oceans. at the same time, poor air quality threatens human and ecosystem health in many parts of the world. the current observation system for air quality is inadequate for measuring human exposure to pollutants and for crafting emissions control strategies. the suite of instruments aboard Geo-CaPe will improve observations of coastal ocean health and air quality across the americas. from a point in space above roughly 80°W longitude, two spectrom- eters will sense reflected sunlight within several narrow wavelength bands. one spectrometer will scan at the continental scale, providing hourly data at a resolution of 7 kilometers. it will measure natural and human-produced substances in rivers and oceans as well as gases and aerosols in the atmosphere, including those that react in sunlight to form polluting low-level ozone. the other spectrometer is a steerable imager that can gather data at a resolution of 250 meters on high-impact events such as large-scale fertilizer runoffs, industrial accidents, and other environmental disasters. an infrared correlation radiometer will measure carbon monoxide (Co) in tandem with the continental-scale spectrometer. together, they will allow for vertical Co profiles that help trace the long-range transport of pollution.