Aura's four instruments, HIRDLS, MLS, OMI, and TES, contain advanced technologies that have been developed for use on environmental satellites. Each instrument provides unique and complementary capabilities that will enable daily global observations of Earth's atmospheric ozone layer, air quality, and key climate parameters.
MLS will provide high vertical resolution profiles which are nearly simultaneous with the OMI observations, and which extend down to and below the tropopause. Thus it will be possible to combine observations from these three instruments with meteorological data to produce effective separation of the stratospheric component of the total column ozone and thus provide an estimate of the tropospheric ozone column (sometimes called the residual). The residual can be compared with TES tropospheric profiles of NO2 and O3. The combination of instruments will make it possible to understand the stratospheric and tropospheric contributions to O3 as well as the transport, physical and chemical processes which effect their distributions.
The table above summarizes the atmospheric parameters measured by HIRDLS, MLS, OMI, and TES. The altitude range where these parameters are measured are shown as the vertical scale. In several cases the measurements overlap which provides independent perspectives and cross calibration of the measurements.