Over a period of five years, the spectrometer is gathering data describing the global distribution of gases in Earth's lower atmosphere. These data are used to create a three-dimensional model depicting the chemistry of the troposphere, interactions between the troposphere and the biosphere, and exchanges between the troposphere and stratosphere.
The instrument is aboard NASA's Aura spacecraft under the agency's Earth Observing System program. Aura's mission is to measure trace gasses in the atmosphere. The data gathered allows scientists to better address global climate change issues such as global warming, the global movement, distribution and chemistry of polluted air, and ozone depletion in the stratosphere.
The Aura satellite was built for NASA by Northrop Grumman Space Technology in Redondo Beach, California. The Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer is one of four instruments that are flying on Aura.
The Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer was designed and built by JPL. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center manages the Aura mission.
Purpose: Instrument studying Earth's atmosphere
Launch: July 15, 2004