Airbus Defence and Space has successfully delivered the first Sentinel-4/UVN (Ultraviolet, Visible and Near Infra-Red) multispectral instrument flight model to the European Space Agency (ESA).
It will be integrated onto the Meteosat Third Generation Sounder (MTG-S1) satellite next year.
The instrument will continuously monitor key air quality trace gases and aerosols from geostationary orbit with Europe and North Africa in the field of view. Trace gases it will monitor include: nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), sulphur dioxide (SO2), formaldehyde, glyoxal, and aerosols which are vital for assessing air quality. The development and manufacture of the Sentinel-4 spectrometer for the Copernicus programme was led by Airbus in Ottobrunn/Munich. Understanding the atmospheric composition will help to reduce the risks of phenomena such as desert dust plumes, long-range transport of atmospheric pollutants including pollen, as well as ash plumes from volcanic eruptions.
"The information gathered by the Sentinel-4 instrument will help decision makers shape European policies on public health and air-traffic safety to protect European citizens," said Philippe Pham, Head of Earth Observation and Science at Airbus. "The combination of a geostationary satellite and an instrument such as Sentinel-4 means that measurements of trace gases in the Earth's atmosphere can be performed above Europe in record time of about 1 hour.”
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