The Launch of TROPOMI and the Week of #GRS_TROPOMI

News - 09 October 2017

The idea of TROPOMI (the TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument) first came into being around 2003. After many years of hard work and preparation, it launches this Friday on board the Sentinel-5 Precursor payload satellite.

Sentinel-5P. Credit: ESA/SENTINEL-5PCC BY-SA IGO 3.0

Throughout the week, we will post more information here and also be using the #GRS_TROPOMI hashtag on social media (Twitter and Instagram) as we explain more about the mission, its goals, and how it all works in relation to the goals and work being done in our department. The week will culminate with the Sentinel-5P launch event taking place at the Space Expo in Noordwijk.

Sentinel-5 Precursor (Sentinel-5P) is a pre-operational atmospheric composition mission and an important component of Copernicus: the European Union Programme aimed at developing European information services based on long-time series of satellite data. Its single instrument, TROPOMI, was jointly developed by the Netherlands Space Office (NSO) and the European Space Agency (ESA). It succeeds more than 20 years of heritage from the Dutch in designing and building atmospheric sensors. Our very own Pepijn Veefkind is the principal investigator (PI), along with Pieternel Levelt and members of the Netherlands Space Institute (SRON) as co-PI. Both Pepijn and Pieternel are employed at the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI) and our Department where they are professors. With their group members, they have a long and recognized history in developing, managing and exploiting key satellite missions devoted to air quality.

“Earth from Space” interview with Pepijn about TROPOMI.

Sentinel-5P is the first satellite be launched of the so-called Sentinel satellite series dedicated to monitoring our atmosphere (air quality and climate). TROPOMI will deliver near-real time information on toxic pollutant gases (such as nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide), green-house gas methane, the ozone layer, and atmospheric particles. For more, see the TROPOMI and Sentinel-5P websites in the links below.

Sentinel-5P will monitor gases and pollutants in our atmosphere. Source: TROPOMI


The satellite will be launched at 9:27 GMT (11:27 CEST) from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia. Can’t make it to Russia on such short notice? You can register for the launch event  at the Space Expo in Noordwijk, or watch online through the ESA website.

Further Links:

  1. Pepijn’s Homepage
  2. Blog by Julien Chimot
  3. GRS_TUDelft on Twitter 
  4. GRS_TU_DELFT on Instagram
  5. TROPOMI Homepage  
  6. http://www.tropomi.eu
  7. Sentinel-5P esa
  8. Sentinel-5P
  9. ESA daily blog : TROPOMI : last steps to launch
  10. ESA Website
  11. Launch Event Page
  12. Live Broadcast of the Launch (13 October)