New York, Feb 25 (IANS) In an effort to develop a global air quality observing system, NASA has partnered with South Korea to carry out a field study in order to monitor air pollution accurately from space, a NASA statement said on Thursday.
The Korea US-Air Quality study (KORUS-AQ) will assess air quality across urban, rural and coastal areas of South Korea using the combined observations of aircraft, ground sites, ships and satellites.
“KORUS-AQ is a step forward in an international effort to develop a global air quality observing system,” said James Crawford, scientist on the project from NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.
“Both of our countries will be launching geostationary satellites that will join other satellites in a system that includes surface networks, air quality models, and targeted airborne sampling,” Crawford added.
South Korea’s capital Seoul is one of the world’s five most-populated metropolitan areas.
Because of the country’s varied topography and its location close to rapidly industrialising China as well as ocean, the impacts associated with the many factors controlling air quality are larger and often easier to measure over the Korean peninsula than elsewhere.
“Working with our South Korean colleagues on KORUS-AQ, we will improve our understanding of the detailed factors controlling air quality, how the processes interact, and how they are changing over time,” Crawford said.
KORUS-AQ will benefit the development of a new a constellation of space-borne science satellites and instruments expected to launch in the years 2018-2022 that will make air quality measurements over Asia, North America, Europe, and North Africa, NASA said.