Innovative Applications for the augmented use of satellite observations to support Air Quality management - phase 2

Short Description

Starting point / motivation

Satellite data play currently a minor role in air quality management. At present, ground measurements and/or model simulations are used to assess the temporal and area wide evolution of air quality. The Achilles’ heel of such modelling is emission data and their spatiotemporal variation.

Contents and goals

Air pollutant and GHG satellite data can be increasingly exploited now also using the data of the recently launched Sentinel-5P instrument (13th October 2017) for determining present area-wide annual- or seasonal and almost daily regional scale (~7 km x 7 km) air pollution variability.

The current and future exploitation of satellite data and air quality and climate requirements were discussed with Austrian air quality management authorities in the preceding first APP4AQ project phase.

The requirement analysis revealed on the one hand that there is a need for improved (trans-boundary) air pollutant transport related air quality assessment such as fine dust episodes, Saharan dust, field burning etc. On the other hand, there is a strong need for updated, improved and validated emission inventories for air quality as well as greenhouse gases (GHG).

The aim of the proposed APP4AQ phase two is to exploit the coverage and information of recent and future satellite data for developing service-oriented applications for the field of air pollution control. Further data processing using measurements and modelling will create an added value and will foster satellite usage in the long run.


The user-friendly accessible representation of satellite data and its spatiotemporal evolution is our first working priority. It will enable first and swift air quality analysis of short term analysis, now casting and process understanding of air pollution (e.g. episodes, Saharan dust, forest fires).

The harmonisation of satellite data with air quality measurements and area-wide modelled air pollutants, i.e. further processing, quantification and validation of satellite data will be a further main activity.

On this basis, by comparing harmonised satellite data with model simulations and measurement the spatial variability of emission inventories with 7 km x 7 km resolution will be verified and matched. Particularly, this enhanced use of satellite data provides an important basis for the analysis and review of measures in the fields of air pollution control and GHG reduction.

Expected results

Real time and archived satellite data will be provided together with other air quality data (surface measurements, emission data, model results) for end users (authorities). The large spatial coverage and fast availability of satellite data will provide an added value for environmental assessment studies.

A customizable data management platform will be used and further developed to enable air pollution authorities and experts an integral view about air pollution patterns over Europe and particularly Austria.

Project Partners


ZAMG Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics

Project partner

  • AIT
  • EODC
  • EOX
  • TU-Graz

Contact Address

ZAMG Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics
Mag. Marcus Hirtl
Hohe Warte 38
A-1190 Wien