Air Pollution in Mega Cities

Air Pollution in Mega Cities

This pilot has a focus on the analysis of time series data of both, satellite missions (MetOp, Sentinel-3, Sentinel-5P), and model results from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service. To realize the objectives it consists of four components:


Urban Area Selector (UAS)

The urban areas of interest can be defined by means of the Global Urban Footprint (GUF) which has been derived from EO data by worldwide mapping of settlements. A total of 180 000 TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X scenes have been processed to create the GUF. The settlement pattern allows for the analysis of urban structures and the arrangement of rural and urban areas. The GUF is available as a DLR Geoservice for scientific use (


Time Series Processor (TSP)

To quantify the related air pollution levels for the selected urban area satellite-based observations are examined using the NextGEOSS infrastructure. The discovery services are used to choose available EO data e.g. of GOME-2 (2007-present) and the upcoming Copernicus fleet (Sentinel-5P, Sentinel-3) but also available data from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS). Here the NextGEOSS DataHub plays the key role. The backend for the Time Series Processor (TSP) is deployed within the NextGEOSS Public Cloud


Time Series Viewer (TSV)

The Times Series Viewer is realized as a web client. To enhance the interpretation of the resulting time series a time slider functionality is available


Time Series Analyser (TSA)

A web client enables the user to interactively analyze the resulting time series. The main features comprise the computation of basic statistics and the detection of trends

Quick Facts


Global Coverage.


  • Global Urban Footprint
  • GOME-2
  • Sentinel-3
  • Sentinel-5P
  • Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service


Megacities are global hotspots of air pollution and associated health risks. Their unlimited growth in area and population, new arising technologies, the implementation of mitigation policies and the possible impacts of climate change require a continuous monitoring of air pollution levels. Therefore the pilot “Air Pollution in Megacities” offers a global multi-sensor approach combining atmosphere and land data to analyze air pollution variability in megacities and urban agglomerations.


The pilot addresses the Societal Benefit Areas “Sustainable Urban Development” and “Public Health Surveillance” and promotes “Open EO Data”. It serves environmental agencies, governmental bodies, and the health community to get a quick integrated view on the air pollution levels in an urban area of interest. In particular, the pilot supports the development of measures for mitigation, adaptation, and prevention. Academic users rely on easy access to time series of EO data from different instruments and can benefit from the NextGEOSS infrastructure and functionalities.


The pilot provides and promotes a web service where users can explore air quality and urban growth of megacities derived from multiple EO sensors including Sentinel-3 and -5P and the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service. It comprises an urban area selector, a time series processor, a time series viewer and finally a time series analyzer that enables to compute statistics and trends. The easy access and analysis of different data sets strongly benefits from the overarching NextGEOSS developments.


The web service will be integrated in the GCI.