Dr. Kelly Chance has received the 2013 Innovative Spirit Award from Secretary Wayne Clough, head of the Smithsonian Institution. Chance was recognized for his work on Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO), which was selected in 2012 as NASA's first Earth Venture Instrument.
The citation reads in part: "Kelly's innovative thinking and ability to lead a collaborative effort among various agencies were critical in the creation of TEMPO, which will deliver near-real-time air-quality products to the public and engage colleges in air-quality research and K-12 students in Earth Science Curriculum development."
TEMPO will be the first space-based instrument to monitor major air pollutants across the North American continent hourly during daytime. The instrument, to be completed in 2017 at a cost of $90 million, will share a ride on a commercial satellite to a geostationary orbit about 22,000 miles above Earth's equator.
TEMPO will measure North American air pollution, from Mexico City to the Canadian tar/oil sands, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific, hourly and at high spatial resolution. This will enable scientists to monitor daily variations in pollution amounts, and follow pollution transport. The instrument will resolve pollution levels to a region of several square miles - far better than existing limits of about 100 square miles.
Chance is Associate Director for Atomic and Molecular Physics and Senior Physicist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.