Related Research Areas
Atmospheric Composition

At the forefront of the AIRNow program are its (1) real-time and historical spatial maps showing pollutants concentrations in the AQI and (2) national air quality forecasts. This information is converted to the AQI forecasts and distributed to the public and media (e.g., USA Today, CNN, and others). To better map these datasets, the AIRNow program is developing a system called Mapper that enables blending (or fusing) of different data sets. However, shortcomings and challenges exist to providing a nationwide AQI map. Most notably, the U.S. surface monitoring network is too sparse in many areas. This problem was especially evident during recent wildfires in northern California. Ground-based PM2.5 monitoring stations were not enough to adequately cover the wildfire area. Consequently, AIRNow and local agencies could not accurately warn the public. Currently the AIRNow program does not ingest or use any satellite data. NASA, NOAA, and other international satellite products can help provide nationwide coverage to better protect public health. EPA’s AIRNow program team proposes to develop a system that enables the operational use of NASA, NOAA, and other satellite products. This system, called the AIRNow Satellite Data Processor (ASDP), will run at the AIRNow Data Management Center (DMC) and ingest and process satellite data (aerosol, NO2, and other future satellite-derived pollutants) to create concentration grids to blend (fuse) with AIRNow surface observations. This combined surface-satellite product will be converted to the AQI to improve the spatial coverage of AIRNow maps. In addition, ASDP will allow forecasters and others (emergency managers, analysts) to easily access NO2, AOD, and other satellite products in AIRNow-Tech. Finally, a long-term transition plan will be developed to ensure ongoing satellite data feeds for the ASDP. The EPA is committed to funding both the long-term operation of AIRNow program and DMC where the ASDP will run.

Project PI: Phillip Dickerson/United States Environmental Protection Agency

Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711, Mail Drop C404-07.

Phone: (919)541-4814

Fax: (919)541-0242



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Started: Sep 27, 2010

Last Activity: Dec 16, 2010


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