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DISCOVER-AQ: A Focus on Air Quality

DISCOVER-AQ is taking a closer look at the air quality near the surface of the Earth, helping us better understand the components that make up the air we breathe.

Overview of the mission

DISCOVER-AQ stands for Deriving Information on Surface Conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality. It is a four-year campaign led by NASA to improve the use of satellites to monitor air quality for public health and to better understand what’s happening with the air quality at the surface of the Earth where we breathe.

Click Here to Play The NASA-EDGE DISCOVER-AQ Video

This summer, DISCOVER-AQ scientists will be measuring air quality in Colorado! Scientists will use a variety of techniques to measure air quality including instruments aboard NASA aircraft, at ground stations, and onboard tethered weather balloons. The measurements will help to shed light on how satellites could be used to make similar, consistent measurements over time, with the ultimate goal of putting better data in the hands of policymakers and elected officials.

photo from TTT workshop: teachers making instruments Image of students chatting with scientist on a research airplane

Free Opportunities for Teachers & Students

As the team continues to prepare for this summer’s campaign in Colorado, there will be a number of opportunities for teachers and students to get involved. Stay tuned for more details regarding upcoming activities for students and teachers!

For questions regarding DISCOVER-AQ and future education and outreach opportunities, please contact:

Amber Richards

Classroom Resources

Teachers can use the following NASA lessons and activities in the classroom to address concepts related to air quality:


Middle & High


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NASA Official: Dr. Mary Kleb
Page Last Modified: 02/19/2014 12:26
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