Welcome to the Sentinel-5 Precursor Campaigns website!
The Sentinel-5 Precursor (S-5p) mission with the TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument payload has been launched on 13 October 2017. S-5p is the first mission of the Copernicus Programme dedicated to perform atmospheric measurements, with high spatio-temporal resolution, relating to air quality, climate, ozone and UV radiation. S-5p will continue the European time series of satellites measuring the atmospheric composition using spectrometers in nadir configuration that has started with the GOME instrument on ERS-2 in 1995 and was continued by SCIAMACHY, GOME-2 and the Dutch/Finnish OMI instrument hosted on the NASA AURA mission. The mission is also a gap-filler and a preparatory programme for Sentinel-5.
The new sensor technology and retrieval approaches, as well as the much finer spatial resolution introduces many new opportunities and challenges, requiring to carefully assess the quality and validity of the generated data products by comparison with independent measurements and analyses. Independent validation provides credibility to the overall mission and allows users to assess the end-to-end mission performance and data product quality.
Routine validation of the operational product content quality is performed in the frame of the S-5p Mission Performance Center (MPC). The routine validation by the MPC is, however, restricted to data products that can be addressed by a limited number of Fiducial Reference Measurements (FRM) that are operationally delivered to the Validation Data Analysis Facility (VDAF). In addition, there is a strong need for complementary field campaigns, bringing together various teams and instruments that can provide a more in-depth insight into the S-5p instrument performance and the fitness for the purpose of its data products.
The Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) is currently coordinating a series of S-5p validation campaigns (2020-2022), funded by and in close collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) and Copernicus, the European Union’s Earth Observation Programme. Most activities have been defined in the S-5p Campaign Implementation Plan (S-5p CIP), established to address key validation priorities. The quality (uncertainty and error characterisation) of a wide range of TROPOMI L2 products (mainly nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and methane (CH4), but also formaldehyde (HCHO), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and Aerosol Layer Height (ALH)), relevant to air quality and climate, will be assessed. This will be done under different geophysical conditions (polluted vs background sites, low vs high albedo sites, summer vs winter season, etc.) by comparison with independent reference observations, acquired by ground-based and airborne instruments. Additionally, intermediate products, such as slant column densities (SCDs) and a priori input in the retrieval chain (e.g. surface reflectance and a priori vertical profiles) will be assessed.