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DISCOVER-AQ: A Focus on Air Quality

DISCOVER-AQ is taking a closer look at the air quality near the surface of the Earth,
helping us better understand the components that make up the air we breathe.

Overview of the Mission

DISCOVER-AQ stands for Deriving Information on Surface Conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality.
It is a four-year campaign led by NASA to improve the use of satellites to monitor air quality for public health
and to better understand what’s happening with the air quality at the surface of the Earth where we breathe.

Education and Public Outreach Impact

DISCOVER-AQ completed their last flight campaign in summer 2014, resulting in a successful four-year mission campaign!
Below are a handful of the many highlights from the education and public outreach efforts conducted over the span of the entire mission:

Students and teachers reached: 7,905
Classrooms visited by scientists: 54
Attendees at public events: 2170+
Teacher workshops held: 7
Air quality monitoring hikes: 10 hikes with 70 participants
States impacted directly: 7
Number of live chat sessions between students and scientists: 16
Number of NASA EDGE's DISCOVER-AQ video downloads: 263,370++


Classroom Resources
This lesson helps students develop an understanding of how various data platforms are used together to collect information
for NASA’s DISCOVER-AQ mission (geared towards grades 5-12): Observing Atmospheric Heights: DISCOVER-AQ Activity [PDF]

Teachers can use the following NASA lessons and activities in the classroom to address concepts related to air quality:


Middle & High

Multimedia Resources