SPoRT supports several research operations concerning air quality. Currently, SPoRT is focusing its research on the Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of POllution (TEMPO) mission,
which will make hourly and sub-hourly observations of air pollutants, including policy-relevant pollutants of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2),
and ozone (O3), over North America during the daylight hours. TEMPO will observe pollution from the myriad of emission sources including urban centers, traffic corridors,
dust storms, and wildfires and prescribed burns. TEMPO will be the first satellite mission to observe O3 pollution within the planetary boundary layer, where society lives and breathes,
to help scientists better assess the human health risks and impacts.
SPoRT researchers have investigated the impact of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic on air quality. In many areas, traffic was reduced due to stay-at-home orders and other preventative measures. SPoRT researchers have found that this drop in traffic led to a significant drop in NO2 in the troposphere over California.
SPoRT is working with SERVIR, a joint venture between NASA and the U.S. Agency for International Development, to provide air quality forecast tools for the Hindu-Kush Himalayan region. Using satellite observations, SPoRT is working to develop methods of real-time air quality monitoring and air quality forecasting over the region.