Design of a flight measurement campaign to prepare to use and to validate Sentinel-4 data

Short Description

Starting point / motivation

In the next decade, Sentinel-4 will monitor the composition of the atmosphere over Europe in hourly resolution from a geostationary orbit.

It is difficult to observe air pollutants from space at such high time resolution. Diurnal variations in the vertical distribution of pollutants and in observational geometry (associated with directional differences in the influence of aerosols, clouds, surface reflection and orography) need to be properly taken into account.

Experts agree that in-situ data for preparing and validating geostationary atmospheric observations are highly demanded.

Contents and goals

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has already carried out measurement flights over particularly polluted regions in North America, implementing for the first time a new measurement strategy (repetitive in-situ vertical profile measurements over the course of the day, combined with airborne nadir imaging of the atmospheric column).

The work proposed herein will explore the feasibility and acceptance of similar aircraft measurements over different target regions in Europe. The aim of the project is to draft a white paper in collaboration with colleagues from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and NASA proposing an aircraft measurement campaign for Sentinel-4 data preparation and validation.

Expected results

The proposal paper shall be used for proposing a mission to the European Space Agency (ESA) and potential data users in Europe.

Project Partners


University of Innsbruck - Ion Physics and Applied Physics

Contact Address

University of Innsbruck
Ion Physics and Applied Physics
Prof. Dr. Armin Wisthaler
TechnikerstraƟe 25/3
A-6020 Innsbruck