Applications of MAIA data

The MAIA investigation is focused on understanding the health effects of different types (compositional mixtures) of particulate matter (PM) air pollution. MAIA data products will be publicly available free of charge, and are intended to be useful for multiple applications, including the following:

  • Health studies: The MAIA data products will provide maps of PM concentrations that can be used to calculate the exposure of populations to various types of PM on a neighborhood scale and on a daily basis. Prospective users include epidemiologists, exposure scientists, and researchers studying the health impacts of air pollution in MAIA target areas.
  • Environmental research: Similar to the impacts of air pollution on human health, MAIA data can be used to evaluate the impact on the natural and human environment, by providing approximately 1 kilometer-resolution concentrations of various types of PM in the target areas.
  • Air quality monitoring and regulation: Agencies that regulate and/or monitor air quality within the MAIA target areas may find the data products useful for siting monitors, evaluating the impact of regulations, and studying exceptional events.
  • Aerosol climatologies and forecast model evaluations: The MAIA data products can be used to characterize the typical seasonal and annual variations of aerosols and PM in the target areas, and can also be used to evaluate the accuracy of climate and air quality models.
  • Cloud research and cloud-aerosol interactions: the MAIA instrument will capture periodic data over regions of persistent offshore stratocumulus clouds. The MAIA radiance and polarization data from these observations can be used to calculate cloud droplet effective radius and cloud optical depth.

The MAIA team encourages users to explore additional applications of the MAIA data products. Other satellite-based multi-angular radiance and polarization data have been used for studying vegetation characteristics and the three-dimensional structure of clouds and optically thick aerosols. Please consult the Data Product and FAQ sections below to see if MAIA data might be useful to you.

MAIA Early Adopters Program

MAIA has established an Early Adopters Program aimed at helping those interested in MAIA data products understand how to use them. Early Adopters receive invitations to events to learn about the mission and the data and can get access to test MAIA data products (see Simulated Data Products section, below). Early Adopters also provide important feedback to the MAIA team regarding the extent to which the MAIA data products meet the needs of various applications communities.

If you are interested in participating in the MAIA Early Adopters Program, please fill out the contact form to be added to the MAIA Community Contacts List and receive invitations for events and notifications when test data products are available.

Planned MAIA data products

The MAIA project will deliver the following data products, which will be generated, stored, and distributed at NASA’s Atmospheric Science Data Center (ASDC). MAIA’s core data products will be produced in NetCDF format, with metadata conforming to ISO-3166-1 & ISO-8601 and ISO Metadata Evolution for NASA Data Systems (MENDS) standards. Browse imagery and other ancillary products will also be produced.

Generation of all levels of data products will occur in the Primary Target Areas (PTAs) and selected Secondary Target Areas (STAs). Only some product levels will be available in other STAs, Calibration/Validation Target Areas (CVTAs), and Targets of Opportunity (TOOs).

Name Description Expected first public data release at ASDC Expected median data latency after first release
Level 1 Radiance and polarization imagery Calibrated and georectified Stokes parameters describing radiance and linear polarization; view and solar geometry; latitude and longitude <6 months after instrument checkout <12 weeks from receipt of telemetry
Level 2 Cloud-screened aerosol properties Cloud-screened total and fractional aerosol particle properties at time of satellite overpass <12 months after instrument checkout <8 weeks of completion of Level 1 processing
Level 2 24-hour averaged PM concentrations on overpass days 24-hr averaged concentrations of coarse PM, fine PM, and fine PM components on days and locations coincident with cloud-free and quality-controlled instrument observations of the MAIA PTAs <12 months after instrument checkout <8 weeks of completion of Level 1 processing
Level 4 Gap-filled, daily, 24-hour averaged PM concentrations Spatially and temporally gap-filled 24-hour averaged concentrations of daily coarse PM, fine PM, and fine PM components over the MAIA PTAs <18 months after instrument checkout <8 weeks of completion of Level 2 processing

Published, peer-reviewed results of health studies conducted by epidemiologists on the MAIA Science Team and their collaborators are also considered a product of the investigation. However, the privacy of the associated health records will be strictly maintained and none of the above products will contain health data.

MAIA Simulated Data Products

Before launch, the MAIA team is working to test the software that will produce the MAIA data products and have generated simulated products in the same format as will be used during the actual mission. These simulated data products are available to MAIA Early Adopters, with the goal of facilitating the use of MAIA data post-launch. Early Adopters can determine whether the MAIA products contain the information needed for their work, and begin development of any code, tools, or procedures needed to integrate MAIA data into their workflow. Early Adopters are also invited to provide feedback to the MAIA project on the accessibility and usability of the MAIA data (obtaining the products, formats, content, available tools and user resources).

If you are interested in accessing the MAIA Simulated Data Products, please fill out this online form to accept the data access agreement and provide details on your intended use of the Simulated Data.


What types of PM will MAIA data include?

In the Primary Target Areas, the MAIA L2 and L4 PM data products will include concentrations of: total PM10, total PM2.5, and sulfate, nitrate, organic carbon, elemental carbon, and dust PM2.5. Please note that some of these species may not be produced in every PTA, depending on the availability of ground monitors measuring these species.

Will all of the data products be produced in every target area?

All data products will be produced in each of the Primary Target Areas. Which data products will be produced in a given Secondary Target Areas depends on the purpose of acquiring data over the target and the availability of required input data needed for product generation. The oceanic STAs selected for studying clouds and the Calibration/Validation Target Areas designated for the maintenance of instrument calibration will only be processed through Level 1.

Does MAIA plan to produce near real-time products?

No. Generation of near-real time products is outside of the project scope. Once data production becomes routine, the latency of the data products is expected to be on the order of 36 to 48 hours from time of observation.

MAIA Data User Resources

MAIA Applications Plan: Read the details of MAIA’s planned applications-related activities throughout the lifetime of the project.

Inaugural MAIA Early Adopters Workshop Report: A summary of the Early Adopters Workshop held in June of 2019 in Pasadena, California. The workshop included information on MAIA relevant to potential data users and exercises to evaluate potential user needs for latency, resolution, and format, as well as to obtain feedback on the preliminary target area selection.

2020 MAIA-TEMPO Early Adopters Workshop Report: A summary of the joint MAIA-TEMPO Early Adopters Workshop held in May 2020 in a virtual format. The workshop included updates on the MAIA and TEMPO projects and interactive exercises to obtain feedback on MAIA and TEMPO data format.

2020 ISEE MAIA Early Adopters webinar: A recording of a 90-minute webinar on the MAIA Early Adopters Program sponsored by the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology as part of the 2020 Annual Conference.

2021 MAIA Early Adopters Workshop Report: A summary of the MAIA Early Adopters Workshop held in September 2021 in a virtual format. The workshop included updates on the MAIA project, including the launch delay, and tutorials covering how to obtain and use the MAIA Simulated Data.

Eyeing Visibility From Space: The Upcoming Multi-Angle Imager for Aerosols (MAIA) Investigation: A summary of the MAIA investigation focusing on the potential use of MAIA data for regional haze analysis in the United States. This article appears in the April 2022 issue of EM Magazine, a copyrighted publication of the Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA;