Songkhla Nakarin news

PSU lecturer joins NASA surveying air quality in Thailand, hoping to reduce air pollution exposure

On 16-26 March 2024, at U-Tapao International Airport in Rayong province, the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT), under the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation (MHESI), collaborated with NASA to study air pollution issues in Thailand as part of the Airborne and Satellite Investigation of Asian Air Quality (ASIA-AQ) project. The aim was to collect air samples above Thai airspace, understand the origins of PM 2.5 dust particles, and formulate long-term solutions for Thailand. In this mission, PSU had a privilege to have Dr. Chomsri Choochuay from the Faculty of Environmental Management participate in this mission.

Dr. Chomsri stated that 10 years ago, NASA attempted to collect air quality samples in Thailand, but the mission failed. This time, GISDA and NARIT are the key roles in Thailand. With a keen interest in solving air pollution issues, she has been involved in many related projects before she had the opportunity to participate in the ASIA-AQ project. Currently, researchers can only collect fundamental samples through satellite imagery. However, the missing knowledge lies in the middle layer of the atmosphere. Hence, it was a great opportunity for NASA to bring a DC-8 aircraft, the largest flying laboratory in the world, to operate flights above Thai airspace from U-Tapao International Airport to Chiang Mai, providing information on various chemical compounds in the air. Additionally, the G-III aircraft will be mapping air pollution maps covering the entire Bangkok metropolitan area.