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Government agencies in Thailand harness the power of NASA air quality data and expertise through a unique Collaboration. 

infographic on Thai air quality

SERVIR, a Spanish word meaning “to serve,” is a project by the Capacity Building program area. A joint initiative between NASA and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) SERVIR's goal is to boost environmental resilience and decision-making in developing regions around the world. Through its network of regional hubs, SERVIR puts publicly available satellite imagery, geospatial data, and analysis tools into the hands of local decision-makers to help solve their most pressing environmental challenges. 

To improve air pollution monitoring in Thailand and the lower-Mekong River region, the SERVIR-Mekong hub brought together experts in air quality measurement, technology design, atmospheric modelling, and civic engagement. Together, they developed a web-based platform for tracking and forecasting air quality in the region.

Woman in front of duck pond
Githika Tondapu, SERVIR software developer

SERVIR team member Githika Tondapu is a software developer that helped create the Mekong Air Quality Explorer tool, and other interfaces that help put Earth observations in the hands of stakeholders across the globe and empower them to address needs on the ground. To create the Air Quality Explorer, Tondapu worked with air quality experts to set up the data pipelines needed to monitor air quality and led the tool’s development. It took a tireless commitment to getting things just right, especially due to the 12-hour time difference between Thailand and Tondapu’s location at SERVIR’s Huntsville, Ala. office. More about Tondapu can be found at the profile, Bringing Earth Data to Life, One App at a Time: Githika Tondapu.

image of the software
The Mekong Air Quality Explorer website.

The Thai government agencies which contributed to the creation of the application hosted a media event in Bangkok which included the Royal Thai Government's Pollution Control Department and the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency – Thailand's space agency. The head of NASA's Applied Sciences Program, Lawrence Friedl, addressed this group of experts in air quality measurement, technology design, atmospheric modelling, and civic engagement. 

photo of presentation by man on screen
Lawrence Friedl, director of the Applied Sciences Program, presented taped remarks at the Thai government press event.

Together, they developed a web-based platform for tracking and forecasting air quality in the region. SERVIR-Mekong's new Mekong Air Quality Explorer tool

More about the event can be found at the Applied Sciences story, Thailand Puts NASA Air Quality Data to Use. Details about the Air Quality Explorer can be found at the article, Thailand Brings NASA Air Quality Data Down to Earth.

two men looking at a computer
Team members review the Air Quality Explorer application.

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