Ball Aerospace’s TEMPO Pollution Tracking Sensor Completes Successful Critical Design Review

The Ball Aerospace TEMPO air quality sensor for NASA is going to revolutionize how air pollution is monitored across North America. Image Credit: Ball Aerospace

The Ball Aerospace TEMPO air quality sensor for NASA is going to revolutionize how air pollution is monitored across North America. Image Credit: Ball Aerospace

August 4, 2015 – The Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) instrument, developed by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., has completed its Critical Design Review, confirming the integrity of the design and its ability to meet mission requirements. The instrument began fabrication last month after an earlier set of reviews.

TEMPO is the first NASA Earth Venture Instrument mission with a UV-visible air quality spectrometer that will fly in geostationary orbit. The principal investigator is Kelly Chance, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, Mass.

“Ball Aerospace is teaming closely with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and NASA’s Langley Research Center to deliver a sensor that meets science requirements, while keeping within the Earth Venture mission cost cap,” said Jim Oschmann, vice president and general manager for Ball’s Civil Space and Technology business unit.

Tempo will monitor air pollution across North America, from Mexico City to the Canadian oil sands, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific. TEMPO will observe Earth’s atmosphere in ultraviolet and visible wavelengths to determine concentrations of many atmospheric pollutants, such as ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and formaldehyde. TEMPO will share a ride on a yet unidentified commercial satellite as a hosted payload.

In addition to TEMPO, Ball Aerospace is jointly developing a similar geostationary UV-visible spectrometer, the Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer (GEMS), with the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), South Korea.