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ISRO develops OCM-3 AOD product to determine air quality dynamics over Indian subcontinent like never before

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Chennai: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has developed and validated an Ocean Colour Monitor (OCM-3) Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) product that determines the intricacies of air quality dynamics over the Indian sub-continent like never before.

In an update, ISRO said researchers are invited to unlock the power of this open data and generate unprecedented insights into aerosol dynamics.

This data product enables determining the intricacies of air quality dynamics over the landmass of the Indian subcontinent.

It is developed using the SAC Aerosol Retrieval (SAER) algorithm, an innovative tool. It utilises EOS-6 satellite data.

“The product is accessible for researchers and students through MOSDAC after the formal registration. This data repository beckons researchers to unravel air quality intricacies like never before. The data serves as a benchmarking air quality simulation model, providing valuable insights for scholars and policymakers towards a cleaner and healthier future,” ISRO said.

This advancement is enabled by the 1 km spatial resolution of the OCM-3 onboard EOS-6. The satellite EOS-6, launched in November 2022, is equipped with a state-of-the-art OCM sensor, marking a significant leap in the ability to monitor atmospheric aerosols.

OCM-3 AOD product data provides unprecedented insights into aerosol concentrations across the Indian landmass. It delves deep into the particulate matter suspended in the atmosphere, empowering researchers to navigate the complexities of air quality dynamics with precision.

Its high-resolution data reveals the dynamics of particulate matter (PM2.5/PM10), offering insights into their distribution and transport over metropolitan areas.

Beyond the Indian skies, the OCM-3 AOD product serves as a global resource for monitoring aerosols worldwide, offering insights into aerosol blankets from diverse sources such as South Asian fires and Canadian wildfires.

“As case studies, the recent investigation unveils a notable increase in AOD values post-October 13, 2023, particularly over the Indo-Gangetic plain. Delhi consistently exhibits high AOD values, spotlighting the enduring impact of pollution during and after Deepavali. Mid-December witnessed some improvement in air quality, followed by another spike in AOD levels during mid-January 2024,” ISRO said.

The AOD and fire products, coupled with trajectory modelling, corroborate extensive fire activities, underscoring the role of agricultural residue burning in severe air pollution.

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