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Air quality

Examples of BIRA-IASB implications in air quality studies

Beijing Olympic stadium in China

In China, for instance, nitrogen dioxide pollution increases at an annual average rate of ten percent, a figure that reflects China's formidable economic growth in the last decade.

The MAXDOAS instrument in Beijing  (China)

In the framework of the DRAGON Programme of the European Space Agency, BIRA-IASB developed an instrument in collaboration with the Chinese Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) to monitor the air quality in the Beijing city and to support the validation of satellite observations of the tropospheric pollutants like:

  • NO2,
  • SO2
  • ozone
  • fine particles.

The instrument that was installed on the roof of IAP a few hundred meters from the Beijing Olympic stadium, is able to monitor the vertical distribution of a number of key atmospheric pollutants, based on the technique of multi-axis differential optical absorption spectroscopy (MAXDOAS).

The observations will be exploited in the context of several ongoing National and European projects like AGACC, AMFIC and GEOMON. Further air pollution monitoring and algorithmic developments are part of BIRA-IASB's tasks within these projects.

The first results indicate that the MAXDOAS measurements in Beijing contain the necessary information to retrieve aerosol extinction profiles and possibly other aerosol optical properties such as, e.g., the angstrom coefficient, the single scattering albedo and phase function, as well as tropospheric trace gas profiles .

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