Neighbourhood News Desk/Avi Arya: Very soon at the beginning of 2021, Delhi researchers will be able to use the ‘speciated air pollution data’ from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Multi-Angle Imager for Aerosols (MAIA) satellite to help in analyzing how much of a difference in the health impact between dust pollution and crop burning.
Delhi and its neighbouring areas are one of the 12 geographical locations for which the satellite will provide speciated air pollution data. Payloads aboard the MAIA satellite will be able to analyze electromagnetic radiations and waves to study the sizes, compositions and quantities of particulate matter in the air.
D Saha, former head of Central Pollution Control Board’s air quality lab said, “If we have speciated data, we will be able to tell whether the pollution particles are acidic or alkaline, whether they are radioactive, or whether they are negatively or positively charged. This information will be crucial for studies on impact of pollution on human health. Apart from that, it will also help us identify the likely sources of pollution. The data will be as good as source apportionment data and can help policymakers control specific sources of pollution”.
As part of the MAIA project, this continuous 24-hour data of air-pollutant components will be compared with health data from districts and Delhi hospitals to study the link between various pollutants and the health impacts.