Crews successfully completed the first fully integrated powered testing of the Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) instrument on Intelsat IS40e on June 30. This testing at Maxar Technologies’ satellite manufacturing facility in Palo Alto, California, marks the completion of the TEMPO Instrument integration with the IS40e satellite.
From its geostationary orbit (geosynchronous equatorial orbit) — a high Earth orbit that allows satellites to match Earth’s rotation — TEMPO will take hourly daytime air quality observations at an unprecedented spatial resolution. Its measurements will encompass the entire lower 48 United States, reaching from Puerto Rico and Mexico to northern Canada, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
“The completion of TEMPO Instrument integration with its host satellite will allow Intelsat IS40e to transition into environmental testing, which brings us one significant and exciting step closer to launch,” said Kevin Daugherty, TEMPO project manager at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.
Environmental testing will include thermal vacuum, dynamics and electromagnetic interference/electromagnetic compatibility. These tests will ensure the spacecraft will successfully endure conditions it will be exposed to during launch and in the harsh environment of space. TEMPO is currently targeted to launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket in January 2023.
From its geostationary orbit TEMPO will also form part of an air quality satellite “virtual constellation” that will track pollution around the Northern Hemisphere.
Kelly Chance, of the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is the principal investigator for TEMPO. Ball Aerospace built the TEMPO instrument.
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