OMI derives its heritage from NASA's Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) instrument and the European Space Agency (ESA) Global Ozone Monitering Experiment (GOME) instrument (on the ERS-2 satellite). It can measure many more atmospheric constituents than TOMS and provides much better ground resolution than GOME (13 km x 25 km for OMI vs. 40 km x 320 km for GOME).

OMI is a key instrument on Aura for monitoring the recovery of the ozone layer in response to the phase out of chemicals, such as CFCs, agreed to by the nations of the world in the Montreal protocol and later modifications to it at Copenhagen and London.

OMI measures criteria pollutants such as O3, NO2, SO2, and aerosols. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated these atmospheric constituents as posing serious threats to human health and agricultural productivity. These measurements are made at near urban scale resolution and track industrial pollution and biomass burning.

OMI detects volcanic ash and sulfur dioxide produced in volcanic eruptions with up to at least 100 times more sensitivity than TOMS. These measurements are important for aircraft safety.

Learn more:

Disasters Applications

  • The Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) instrument can distinguish between aerosol types, such as smoke, dust, and sulfates, and measures cloud pressure and coverage, which provides data to derive tropospheric ozone. OMI can detect the sulfur dioxide (SO2) from volcanic plumes, which is important for volcanic plume dispersion forecasts for aviation avoidance and volcanic fog forecasts. (