Nitrosat Earth Explorer candidate

Mapping reactive nitrogen at the landscape scale

Ammonia (NH3, yellow to red) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2, green to blue) boundary layer concentration
at 1 x 1 km2 resolution overlaid on a MODIS land imagery over the Netherlands

The Nitrosat Earth Explorer will be the first dedicated satellite mission to simultaneously identify the emission contributions of NH3 and NO2 from farming activities, industrial complexes, transport, fires and urban areas.

Combined with air quality models, assimilation and inverse modelling, these measurements will allow assessing the processes that are relevant for the human disruption of the nitrogen cycle and their resulting effects, in much more detail than what will be achieved with the satellite missions that are planned in the next decade. In this way, Nitrosat will enable informed evaluations of future policies on nitrogen emission control.

Nitrosat will be mapping near-surface atmospheric NH3 and NO2 at 500 m spatial resolution. Source regions will be probed from once a week to once a month to reveal the seasonal patterns.

Selection of four candidates for Phase 0 : Article ESA

The Nitrosat mission concept is explained in detail in the presentation beside, which was presented at the ESA Living Planet Symposium 2022.

Proposing team

Nitrosat PI
Pierre Coheur – ULB, Belgium
Pieternel Levelt – KNMI, Netherlands

Lieven Clarisse – ULB, Belgium
Martin Van Damme – ULB, Belgium
Henk Eskes – KNMI, Netherlands
Pepijn Veefkind – KNMI & TUD, Netherlands
Cathy Clerbaux – LATMOS, France

Frank Dentener – JRC, Italy
Jan Willem Erisman – LU, Netherlands
Martijn Schaap – TNO, Netherlands & FU, Germany
Mark Sutton – CEH, United-Kingdom
Michel Van Roozendael – BIRA-IASB, Belgium

ESA team

Christophe BuissetArnaud LecuyotDirk Schüttemeyer Ben Veihelmann

Mission advisory group

Pierre Coheur – ULB, Belgium
Lieven Clarisse – ULB, Belgium
Claude Camy-Peyret – SPACIA, France
Steffen Beirle – MPIC, Germany
Andreas Richter – IUP, Germany

Pieternel Levelt – KNMI, Netherlands
Henk Eskes – KNMI, Netherlands
Mark Sutton – CEH, United-Kingdom
Dominik Brunner – EMPA, Swiss
Jennifer Murphy – University of Toronto, Canada