NASA’s Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer (GEMS) satellite, which monitors air quality in real time, is now accessible to the National University of Science and Technology (NUST).
NASA’s orbital-based GEMS satellite is the first to feature NUST in the entire region.
Dr. Muhammad Fahim Khokhar, Head of Department (HoD) of the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Engineering (IESE), said that NUST became the first institute in the region to be part of the geostationary orbit-based satellite program after it acquired the equipment necessary to record, compile, and calibrate live air quality data as part of the satellite program.
A significant point to be noted is that GEMS is the first satellite instrument in a group of three satellite constellations that has changed the way in which scientists are able to assess the air quality over large parts of the northern hemisphere.
During the day time, GEMS monitors the atmosphere of Asia with a fixed orbit over the equator every hour during the day time. Having a satellite in space makes scientists much more capable of tracking the level of air pollution in the atmosphere from space than before.
Separately, experts in public health have found that nine out of 10 people breathe air that is more contaminated than what the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends for human health.
It is important to keep in mind that most countries with poor air quality in terms of air quality index are low- and middle-income countries, with Pakistan being among the worst countries in terms of air quality index.