Copernicus Sentinel-5P Releases First Air Pollution Data

The Copernicus Sentinel-5P mission has released its first data on air pollutants. The satellite’s first ozone images show the closing of the ozone hole over the South Pole.

Launched on 13 October 2017, Sentinel-5P is the first Copernicus satellite dedicated to monitoring our atmosphere. Thanks to its Tropomi instrument – the most advanced multispectral imaging spectrometer to date – Sentinel-5P can zoom down to the surface of Earth and deliver data about the atmosphere with unprecedented detail and accuracy. With a resolution of up to 7 x 3.5 km, the satellite’s instrument Tropomi can even detect air pollution over individual cities.

Initial data provided by the satellite highlight air pollution as emitted by big cities and ship lanes, thanks to its measurements of nitrogen dioxide over Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and India. These new data also show the transport of carbon monoxide from India to China.

Moreover, the first ozone retrievals of Copernicus Sentinel-5P show the closing of the ozone hole over the South Pole during November 2017. With a swath width of 2600 km, Sentinel-5P’s Tropomi instrument maps global ozone on a daily basis. The mission contributes to the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, to support public policies related to ozone monitoring and public health.


Having completed its commissioning phase, Copernicus Sentinel-5P data is now available to all, free of charge. From policy makers and environmental agencies to scientists, users can access data that ultimately will help to better forecast and mitigate air quality problems.

Claus Zehner, ESA's Sentinel-5P mission manager, affirmed, "We often hear about climate change and the depletion of the ozone layer when we consider why we need to monitor the atmosphere. But air quality is also a huge global problem. It affects the health of humans and affects agriculture and the economy in general."

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