The information gained from TROPOMI’s data is invaluable for tracking air pollution, studying changes in our environment, and gaining more insight into chemical and physical properties and processes of the Earth’s atmosphere. Two other Earth observation instruments led by the Netherlands, OMI onboard NASA’s Aura satellite, and SCIAMACHY onboard ESA’s Envisat will be coming to the end of their lifespan within the same time-period that TROPOMI will be launched. TROPOMI secures the future of monitoring climate development and air pollution as well as researching planet Earth from space. The new and state-of-the-art instrument is also an important improvement upon its predecessors. TROPOMI is a much more highly sophisticated instrument for observation that can peek through clouds and even differentiate air pollution emissions on a city-by-city basis. Moreover, TROPOMI will provide daily global coverage and give a much more accurate understanding and immediate view of the emission and spread of carbon monoxide air pollution as well as the greenhouse gas methane.
According to NSO-director Ger Nieuwpoort, the best of what the Netherlands space community has to offer comes together in TROPOMI: “It is fantastic that with the Netherlands’ space technology we can deliver such important contributions to the monitoring of air pollution and climate, the global environmental issues of this time. This is really where a small country can be big.”
TROPOMI is the only scientific instrument on the satellite Sentinel-5 Precursor, a preparatory mission within ESA and the European Commission’s extensive Earth observation programme, GMES. ESA will develop five large satellites within this programme with the name Sentinel. Every Sentinel will focus on one specific aspect of Earth observation.TROPOMI is a collaborative effort between KNMI, SRON, TNO and Dutch Space under assignment by the NSO. Scientific leadership is in the hands of KNMI and SRON. Dutch Space is the lead contractor for building the instrument. TROPOMI is financed by the ministries of Economic Affairs, of Education, Culture and Science, of Traffic Public Works and Water Management and of Housing, Spacial Planning and the Environment.