Press Release

NASA Earth Venture Mission Uses Sigma Space Micro Pulse Lidar for Air Pollution Observations

By SpaceRef Editor
June 4, 2011
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The Sigma Space MPL and MiniMPL will be deployed by NASA scientists at surface sites to provide 24-hour lidar monitoring of boundary layer depth and vertical distribution of aerosols. These sites will be collocated with airborne measurements of the vertical profile of key trace species and boundary layer structure.

The NASA DISCOVER-AQ team finds the Sigma Space lidars desirable because of the significant advantages offered by the instruments in determining the vertical structure and optical properties of aerosols and boundary layer depth.

A principal goal of the DISCOVER-AQ mission is to improve the use of satellite observations to diagnose air quality at the Earth’s surface and to improve the use of satellite data in air quality models.

“Using satellite observations to characterize air pollution near Earth’s surface is a great technical challenge, as well as a great opportunity for improved decision-making and policy,” said Phil DeCola, Chief Science Officer at Sigma Space, “and the NASA DISCOVER-AQ Earth Venture Mission brings together advanced airborne and ground-based measurement technologies, such as the Sigma Space MPL, which together provide accurate measurements of local changes in aerosol distributions that can effectively enhance the value of measurements made from space.”

For similar reasons, MPL and MiniMPL also received great attention from the meteorological community at the recently held World Meteorological Organization Congress in Geneva. Sigma Space collected requests from many delegates from European and African countries for MPL measurements of urban pollution, desert dust, and volcano ash. Recent MPL data taken of the volcanic eruption of Shinmoe-dake in Japan can be found at

Sigma Space Corporation produces pioneering instrumentation in lidar, laser ranging, altitude determination, spectroscopy, and radiometry for remote sensing and defense applications. Sigma Space also proudly supply advanced science and engineering services to government customers. As a market leader in these areas Sigma Space enjoy an excellent reputation among its customers, and have become one of the fastest growing providers in the sector.


Sigma Space Corporation
Simona Ciampi, 301-552-6047

SpaceRef staff editor.