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Instrument: MAPS : Measurement of Air Pollution from Satellite
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The Measurement of Air Pollution from satellite (MAPS) instrument was
flown with the Space Radar Laboratory-1 on the Space Shuttle
"Endeavor" (STS-59) launched April 9, 1994.
The objectives of the MAPS instrument were to measure the global
distribution of carbon monoxide (CO) in the troposphere and its role
in global tropospheric chemistry. The MAPS instrument, flown on two
previous Shuttle flights (1981 and 1984), is a precursor to EOS-era
instruments. The MAPS instrument was able to detect CO and nitrous
oxide using gas filter radiometry to measure the IR absorption
wavelength band in the atmosphere for these trace gases (4.67
micrometer). The MAPS instrument viewed the Earth simultaneously
through three cells, one cell filled with CO, one filled with nitrous
oxide, and one filled with helium (which does not absorb at these
wavelengths). The difference in the energy received as seen through
cell pairs enabled researchers to derive the amount of CO and nitrous
oxide in the atmosphere. The nitrous oxide measurements provided a
method for automatically rejecting cloud-contaminated observations of
CO. The MAPS instrument consisted of the optical subassembly, which
contained the optical elements, blackbodies, gas cells, detectors,
preamplifiers, and calibration unit; the electronics subassembly,
which housed the signal processing and control circuits; the flight
tape recorder subassembly; and the aerial camera subassembly, which
provided correlative cloud cover photos during the daylight portion of
the flight. MAPS is expected to fly with the SRL again in 1994 and

Information on the MAPS sensor, visit the STS-59 site at

Information about the Space Radar Laboratory can be found on the NASA
JPL WWW Home Page:


Louis Caudill (NASA HQ) - Program Manager
Dr. Michael Kurylo (NASA HQ) - Program Scientist
Dr. Henry G. Reichle, Jr. (NASA LaRC) - Principal Investigator
John Fedors (NASA LaRC) - Project Manager