In conjunction with our partners, STI developed the AirNow Satellite Data Processor (ASDP), a suite of programs in the AirNow Information Management System. The ASDP fuses NASA satellite-estimated surface PM2.5 concentrations with ground-based PM2.5 measurements to create new, contoured Air Quality Index (AQI) maps. The new AQI maps provide enhanced air pollutant information in regions where monitoring is sparse.

EPA’s AirNow program provides the public with easy access to national ambient air quality information using a health effects based scale (the AQI). AirNow presents real-time hourly AQI conditions and daily AQI forecasts by interpolating AQI levels to a grid and creating maps that cover national, regional, and local spatial scales. However, significant gaps in the coverage of ground-based PM2.5, ozone, and NO2 monitors prevent complete nationwide mapping of pollutant concentrations in the United States. When interpolated and contoured, AQI levels in regions far from monitors may have higher uncertainty.

This work
  • Creates a method for fusing data sets from different sources that is applicable to other types of data and can be used internationally.
  • Provides air quality information in regions without monitors and enhances the air quality information in regions with monitors.
  • Provides additional air quality information for air quality forecasters and decision makers.