New satellite restores NASA?s ozone-mapping capability
A July launch re-established NASA?s Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) program after a Russian satellite carrying a TOMS instrument completed its mission in December 1994. The TOMS-E¥(Earth Probe) is the first satellite dedicated to ozone-layer mapping?previous instruments have been piggybacked on other satellites?and will allow the Goddard Space Flight Center (Greenbelt, MD) to resume long-term daily mapping of ozone-layer
global distribution. The satellite carries a high-resolution spectrometer from Orbital Sciences (Dulles, VA) that measures total columnar ozone?from the Earth?s surface to the upper atmosphere?by observing both incoming solar energy and backscattered ultraviolet light at six wavelengths. As part of NASA?s Mission to Planet Earth to gather data on the global
environment, TOMS data will be used with atmospheric chemistry measurements from other satellites to understand worldwide creation, destruction, and distribution of the ozone layer. A sun-synchronous orbit positions the satellite daily over the same point on the Earth at the same local time and sun illumination. The next TOMS instrument is scheduled for launch on a Japanese satellite this month, allowing combined data from the two spacecraft to produce a higher-resolution look at the ozone layer.