The Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer (GEMS) is scheduled for launch in February 2020 to monitor air quality (AQ) at an unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution from a geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) for the first time. With the development of UV–visible spectrometers at sub-nm spectral resolution and sophisticated retrieval algorithms, estimates of the column amounts of atmospheric pollutants (O3, NO2, SO2, HCHO, CHOCHO, and aerosols) can be obtained. To date, all the UV–visible satellite missions monitoring air quality have been in low Earth orbit (LEO), allowing one to two observations per day. With UV–visible instruments on GEO platforms, the diurnal variations of these pollutants can now be determined. Details of the GEMS mission are presented, including instrumentation, scientific algorithms, predicted performance, and applications for air quality forecasts through data assimilation. GEMS will be on board the Geostationary Korea Multi-Purpose Satellite 2 (GEO-KOMPSAT-2) satellite series, which also hosts the Advanced Meteorological Imager (AMI) and Geostationary Ocean Color Imager 2 (GOCI-2). These three instruments will provide synergistic science products to better understand air quality, meteorology, the long-range transport of air pollutants, emission source distributions, and chemical processes. Faster sampling rates at higher spatial resolution will increase the probability of finding cloud-free pixels, leading to more observations of aerosols and trace gases than is possible from LEO. GEMS will be joined by NASA’s Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) and ESA’s Sentinel-4 to form a GEO AQ satellite constellation in early 2020s, coordinated by the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS).
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