Paul Walsh: Welcome everybody thanks for joining us on this webinar. I'm very excited to bring to you today John Haynes, who is the director of air quality and health for NASA. He'll introduce himself here in just a second, as well as my colleague Marcus Trail who's a Ph.D. as part of our science team here in the US building out the models that we will be talking about.
My name is Paul Walsh, I'm the head of business development for BreezoMeter, and I've been with the company since June. For those of you that are weather channel super fans, you might remember me from my days on the weather channel and such. From segments, as the forecast factor with Paul Walsh or Weather in Your Wallet. If you don't remember, or those who don't know, I forgive you because it's a very, very niche part of the weather channel that very few people know.
My focus is really on helping leverage that kind of data that we're talking about with businesses and I'll talk about that as part of this discussion. This is really meant to be more of a conversation than a presentation, but that said, John is going to take you through some of the work that they're doing at NASA and it's really, really super interesting.
And so he'll start in and we'll go in and Marcus will talk about the work that we're doing at BreezoMeter, translating that amazing science that we're getting from NASA into something that becomes very useful and important for consumers around the world.
And then I'm going to talk a little bit about how we're leveraging that data with businesses around the world and how companies are leveraging the data to create more resilience and more sustainability for their customers.
So with that, I think John, I'm going to turn it over to you and I will.
John Haynes: Alright Thank you so much, Paul, for that introduction, and good morning, good afternoon, good evening to everybody who is joining us depending on where you are in the world. And Paul, I am a weather channel super super fan, so I certainly remember your segments and shows on the weather channel.
Paul Walsh: That's one!
John: Just a little anecdote. I have been obsessed with weather and meteorology since I was a child. I was one of those weather weenies, who was watching the weather channel as a kid in first grade. My teacher said, John Andrew, she called me by both names because I'm in the American South so we go by two names, she said John Andrew, I understand you want to be a weatherman when you grow up, and this was first grade, I said no ma'am I want to be a meteorologist. And that was in first grade and I pursued that dream my whole life and graduated with my undergrad and graduate degrees in meteorology my graduate degree from the University of Oklahoma. And then I was lucky enough to get a position at NASA headquarters immediately thereafter in the earth science division and it's been a wonderful almost 20-year career for me at NASA being able to apply my expertise in meteorology to something that in college and in Grad school, I may not have thought of exactly applying the expertise of meteorology for societal benefit in the areas of health and air quality.
What is the NASA's Health and Air Quality Applications Program?
John: So just to briefly give folks a bit of an overview, a bit of a taste of what we do in NASA earth science program, the health and air quality applications, I just want to show a few slides.
And like I said I've been managing the health and air quality applications program now at NASA for going on since 2004. And for us in NASA earth science it really all begins here several hundred kilometers above our head in low earth orbit, with our constellation of over 20 satellites and sensors that are continuously monitoring earth’s weather, climate, and environment for research and applications purposes. That includes several sensors onboard the continuously crude international space station.
This constellation of earth-observing satellites represents an investment of approximately 2 billion that's billion, with a B US dollars, per year by the American Government making this the largest earth observing constellation, civilian wise, in the world.
And I'd be remiss to leave out that this constellation would not be possible without the great contributions and collaboration of many of our international partners, including such agencies as the Japanese Space Agency, The European Space Agency, Canadian Space Agency, just to name a few.
When you're looking at this slide all the satellites that are in the cooler colors the blues, the Greens, those are the ones that are currently in orbit. But the ones that are in the warmer colors, the yellows and the oranges, those are the ones that we plan to launch from now through 2025 in order to keep this constellation the most robust earth observing system in the world.
So we can go to the next slide.
Every day, literally 10s of terabytes it's something like 20 some odd terabytes of data are downloaded from this constellation every day to our ground stations, on how the earth system is existing and how the system is changing. And all the types of observations we get from this constellation of satellites, many of them are critical for health and air quality applications and we were talking about air quality, in particular, you're talking about things like aerosols you're talking about things like fires and thermal anomalies that we get from our infrared channels. And the great news is that all of this data is free and open access to the world, it is all available at earth data.nasa.gov and again free to people all over the world to download to study to do research and to do applications so we can go to the next slide.
As far as the program that I manage, health and air quality applications at NASA These are four objectives. We use our observations and air quality mentioned in public health regarding infectious disease and environmental health issues. Regarding the implementation of air quality standards policies and regulations, we also address issues of toxic and pathogenic exposure and health-related hazards. While, as of course an umbrella issue addressing the effects of climate change on public health and air quality, to support managers and policymakers in their planning and preparations in the years and decades to come.
Our portfolio is now the largest it's ever been in the history of NASA. We have over 30 projects currently in our portfolio. Working with stakeholders across the United States and across the world. This list of stakeholders and partners at the bottom is far from exhaustive; it's just some major examples of our partners, including internationally with the World Health Organization Pan American Health Organization, UNICEF. In the United States Federal Government, we work very closely with the CDC, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institutes of Health, as well as the national oceanic and atmospheric administration. We work with a variety of states, both their departments of environmental quality and their departments of health, and of course private sector institutions such as BreezoMeter. So let's go onto the next slide.
And just one example, during the COVID-19 pandemic of course ongoing since March 2020.
When you're looking at the Air Quality realm that I just wanted to show an example of how we can use satellite data to see how the earth system changes, how it responds to our own behaviors. Is air quality changes that were resultant from COVID-19 mitigation efforts; quarantine and lockdowns. And the example you're seeing here is particularly on nitrogen dioxide that's a, as the EPA would say, a criteria pollutant, a regulated pollutant. That's unhealthy to breathe, on its own, but it also contributes to the formation of surface ozone, and it mainly comes from tail pilots and smokestacks.
Well, in our earth science constellation of satellites, we have two satellites that can look directly at nitrogen dioxide levels, and that is the ozone monitoring instrument, that's onboard NASA's Aura satellite. As well as the European space agency's TROPOMI instrument. And after these mitigation efforts for coven 19 when effect in March 2020. We saw a large decrease and nitrogen dioxide pollution in megacities across the world again this provides a neat example of how the system is responding to our changes of human behavior. And the example you're seeing here is the northeastern corridor of the United States, the four year average of nitrogen dioxide, across that corridor from 2015 to 2019, compared to march 2020 and they needed in the northeast corridor certainly was not unique in this, we saw this in megacities across the globe.
One of the silver linings in this pandemic has been a tremendous amount of international collaboration and cooperation to help tackle these challenges of the pandemic and help to bring together all the earth observations that are necessary to understand aspects of what's going on with the earth system. NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Japanese Space Agency actually joined together to form a COVID-19 Earth observation dashboard that has 10s of indicators on it, economic indicators, agricultural indicators, air quality indicators, and so I encourage people to take a look at that at eodashboard.org it's really a tremendous asset again free and open access to everybody in the world.
And if you go to the next slide, Paul, it's the final slide. I'm going to end there again. I encourage you to please check out our website at appliedsciences.nasa.gov to see the full breadth of the portfolio that we're working on and health and air quality and other issues of societal benefit across applied sciences and I'll stop there, and again thanks so much for the opportunity to speak staple.
Paul: Oh man that's awesome John and then that last slide that showed the difference between post-COVID and pre-COVID is just eye-opening.
Paul: I think now what I'm going to do is turn it over to Marcus, of course, Marcus has got a Ph.D. in environmental engineering. I'll let you introduce yourself Marcus but basically, in terms of the flow of this conversation, we're talking about the amazing data that comes from the network of satellites that is delivered by NASA. The next step is okay, how do you take that data and transform that into something that becomes even more useful for consumers, taking that raw data, so Marcus, let me just turn it over to you.
Dr Marcus Trail: Sure thing thanks, Paul. And, unlike Paul, there's probably no reason anyone on here should know me unless we've worked together or work together currently but I'm happy to be here.
And I want to, I want to just say that that slide that John showed with the fleet of satellites, that to me is why we love NASA data so much and I'll get into it a little bit more about why specifically.
But maybe briefly I'll tell you kind of what we do as scientists here at BreezoMeter and how that ties into the NASA data. So what we do is that our goal is to answer questions using data. So, for example, how bad is the Air Quality outside of my front doors? Should I go for a run today, tomorrow, or later this weekend? If you live out in the Western US like me, is the smoke going to clear out this weekend? Or, that fire up the Canyon, is it close to the highway where it is?
So those are the types of questions we try to answer, and once we have those questions we then think what data is available for us, how can we answer those questions, based on the data we have? And what we quickly run into is that there's a lot of data out there, but there's no perfect data set that helps us answer the question, exactly as it is, especially not on the scale that we're working on which is global.
For example, if we're looking at answering a question like what’s the air quality in the Western US going to be like this weekend? Or what's it like right now? We have government monitoring stations scattered about the globe, or private ones, that we can use and answer part of the question. We can answer what's happening over there at that station right now, or perhaps what happened there at that station in the past, but oftentimes maybe that station is reporting measurements on a delay, so we don't even know necessarily in some cases what's happening right in this instance at that station and we definitely don't know what's happening right here, outside of my front door, and we also don't know what's going to happen this weekend.
So it's a great data source, but again it's limited in how we can use it to answer our questions. So we look at other data sources as well, for example, there are some physical models out there, where we can take a look more on a spatial scale at what's happening in between those stations and the model will help answer that question. And a lot of times you can use models to predict the future or hypothetical scenarios and that's useful for answering questions, but again with models like that, you can frequently run into issues where the model at the location of the government stations, they don't agree. So there's an error in the model, perhaps.
So then, what do we do? Does that mean that the model is invalid? What does that mean for us, can we use the data? And then another great data set is the satellite data that NASA provides that's great for answering the question of what's happening in between these monitors. And again it's not the perfect data source, but it has its strength and its values. So each data set alone may not answer our question perfectly. And that's really that's the crux of what we as scientists do here at BreezoMeter as we think. Okay, we have all this data that each set has strengths.
The question is, where did those strengths end for one particular data set and where do another data set’s strengths pick up? And then how do we use those data sets in combination, to provide an even more valuable data set? For example, we might choose to combine that data. We need to think about how it is scientifically accurate to combine this data and then mathematically, how do we even do it.
For example, if we're looking again at air quality or wildfire tracking we might have a data set from satellites that provides a lot of value and try to tell us where maybe a fire could occur. And then we have another source of data that's a bit more of a ground truth but it's limited in time and space, we can think about how we can use one to perhaps validate the other. Or another set to even calibrate the other, we might even use one data set as the input to a machine learning model to predict some other outcome. And going back to that slide that John showed with the fleet. I talked about the many different data sets that we can use. Even within the realm of the data that NASA provides there's so much variability and from one satellite to another there are strengths that one offers that another may not offer. For example, one satellite may be polar orbit or orbiting so it provides a snapshot of what's happening on different parts of the globe at different times, but another satellite might be geostationary so it shows you what's happening at a specific point in the globe, all the time. Or one satellite may offer data at a certain resolution and another satellite may offer data at an even finer grid resolution and so this is why we love NASA products so much, it's because, even within that realm of data, there is so much we can do with it and so many answers that we can attempt to, or so many questions, we can attempt to answer using that robust data set.
That’s all I got Paul
Paul - Okay, great, well thanks
Paul - I think when you look at what John just talked about in terms of the data being made available by NASA which is really funded by taxpayer dollars is big big span big, a big heavy lift to get those sensors in space to be able to provide us that raw data, what we do at BreezoMeter, or which a lot of companies are doing now, because of the continuing challenges that we have from our changing climate, and I'll talk about that in just a second, is take that data using very similar scientific methods to what scientist at NASA would be doing, but only from a private sector perspective, to try to solve another problem and that problem is how do I take that raw data, how do I transform that some that into something that then becomes useful for an end-user, that could be a citizen or that could be a private company.
One example that I always like to give is the fact that the BreezoMeter data is the air quality provider on the iPhone native weather APP, so literally hundreds of millions of people have access to the air quality data that just happens to be coming from BreezoMeter, but which is a combination of what John just described, which is the amazing data coming from NASA and the work that our scientists are doing on our science team to transform that into something that enables us, in this case, to provide a very hyper-local and rapidly updating air quality measurement which has been used quite frequently this year, and this summer. Particularly in the western half of the US, air quality is a top sort of data point for citizens, because of the wildfires, because we've seen some really significant obviously air quality problems in that area.
And another example, and this is kind of a cool use case that I always like to reference, is work that we're doing with L'oreal. And basically what L'oreal has done is that they're taking air quality data, in this case, or they happen to be taking it from us. And they’re in-putting it into a product they developed called Perso which basically takes the air quality data, along with other sorts of external data, including the person that's using it, their gender, age, etc, and they're creating a very specific customized makeup. Based on the effect that air quality and other environmental factors are going to have on their skin. So that's something that I, you know, four months ago I would never even thought of as being a use case but it's an example of how this kind of data can be used to create in this case, its beauty resilience, but in reality, for most of us, the use case, as it relates to leveraging air quality and pollen data and also wildfire data for that matter, is really all about helping us be healthier and to stay safe as well.
Paul - John, if you don't mind I've got a question for you and it's really about in terms of the roadmap. You know, what kind of new sensors are you guys working on, from an air quality perspective, that we can expect to see over the next couple of years, and what will that do for us, I mean what kind of really cool rich data will Marcus have now to be able to create those kinds of applications, I just mentioned about like that with L'oreal.
John - Yeah thanks Paul great question and excited that I have a great answer.
Paul - It's almost like we rehearse this.
John - I know! So when I was showing the earth fleet chart and I said that those satellites, in the warmer colors, are the ones that were going to be coming in the future from now to 2025 to keep that the most robust earth observing constellation the world has ever known.
Well two of them coming up are extremely important for air quality issues and also health issues. One of them is called TEMPO. Now TEMPO stands for the troposphere conditions monitoring of pollution satellites. You know at NASA we love our acronym so that's the name of the mission and its acronym is TEMPO. Now TEMPO is really going to be revolutionary. It's going to monitor the air we breathe across greater North America hour by hour for geostationary orbit. Like Marcus mentioned earlier, some satellites are in polar orbit which is really great because it gives us a global data set because they are able over a period of time to take observations from the entire globe. But other times you need information from geostationary satellites when you just want information about one particular region, the globe, because geostationary satellites just stay continuously in one area of the globe. And TEMPO will be looking continuously at greater North America and there'll be taking observations hour by hour of the daylight of ozone, nitrogen oxide, and formaldehyde. Now the really powerful part of TEMPO is that it's going to form a constellation that's going to cover the entire northern hemisphere. A very similar satellite was launched last year by Korea known as GEMS that will continuously look at East Asia. And another satellite will be launched in the very near future by the European Space Agency, known as Copernicus Sentinel 4 that will continuously stare at North Africa and Europe.
So these three satellites are very similar in their observations of air quality and so that will form a northern hemisphere wide constellation where we will be able to see every hour by hour. Every hour by hour each day how air quality is changing across the entire northern hemisphere and how air pollutants move across the northern hemisphere. So that's going to be really exciting, TEMPO is going to launch next year, 2022.
The other one we have is called MAIA, the Multi-Angle Imager for Aerosols. This is a really exciting satellite that is being developed by the NASA jet propulsion laboratory in Pasadena, California and it's going to be in polar orbit. MAIA is so revolutionary because it represents the very first time that NASA has ever directly partnered with epidemiologists and health organizations on a satellite mission to study human health and improve lives. MAIA will actually be able to target its observations in megacities across the globe and it's going to be looking at particulate matter (PM).
Particulate matter, we know, is associated with a wide variety of adverse health outcomes, including cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, sometimes adverse birth outcomes. It's a criteria pollutant here in the United States and, of course, the World Health Organization certainly has just recently actually decreased its recommendations for the amount of particulate matter that's tolerable in the atmosphere and so these target cities have been chosen across the globe, not only for their rich ground data sets but also because they have health cohort studies going on in those targets cities. So MAIA will target these cities with observations of particulate matter and working with the health officials we're going to link those to the health studies and look to see if we find any correlations between PM levels and adverse birth outcomes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, what have you. And that's also going to launch in late 2022 as well, so it's really going to be a big year for health and air quality satellites next year with these two launches, really looking forward to it.
Paul - Just in time, you know I think about this a lot. And I certainly didn't realize this until I joined BreezoMeter, which is really focused on the health impacts of air quality, but according to WHO, 7 million people a year die from the impacts of air pollution, which is more than what we've seen from COVID today I think so it's a huge problem, but it's kind of an invisible problem, which is one of the problems, that we don't know that it's not something to hit you immediately but it's something that over time, can have a significant negative impact. So it's that data that you're going to be providing that is super super important.
John - Yeah I tell everybody, you know we're having these conversations, obviously, the first and foremost problem and challenge in our mind is the COVID-19 pandemic. But, unfortunately for the globe, the other challenges didn't just disappear, just because we have COVID-19, we still have these issues of 7 million excess deaths a year. From indoor and outdoor air pollution, we still have the issues of climate change and its impact on health and air quality, etc, and so forth, those issues didn't disappear, they may be a little overwhelmed right now by our current challenge but they're still there.
Paul - Yep and then as I'm talking if you've got any questions feel free to ask them on the Webex or the Zoom here and we'll be happy to answer them. But Marcus I actually want to put you on the spot. Based on what you guys heard from John in terms of what's coming as it relates to sensors and our ability to have geostationary satellites providing this information. How do you see that sort of folding into the work that we're doing, which again is the layer that sits right underneath.
Marcus - Oh no Paul we just lost you yeah.
John - We lost Paul for a second.
Marcus - Oh, there you are. I was, I was about to answer your question.
Paul - yeah sorry guys, all of a sudden my wifi got unstable but go ahead Marcus before we get cut off again.
Marcus - I’ll say, John, when you're talking about the two satellite projects you're going to launch next year that is music to my ears. You know, especially the fact that the first one you mentioned it's going to be consistent with some other satellite projects that China is launching and etc or Korea, you said. Oh gosh I mean that's incredible it's going to give us so much information.
Your question, Paul, was how do I see it folding into what we do. As John was talking I'm thinking about, like okay mathematically, how do we do this, which one do we use, for you know, what's our ground truth, what do we, what do we validate, what do we calibrate, how do we use this data, but I'm just excited to have that data. I think it's, and again, to your point also, though, you know this is a huge problem with air quality and it's not gone away with COVID.
I think along with that, there is the growing awareness that this is a huge problem. I think people are becoming much more aware of it. And so I think it's good and that you know we can come up with solutions to make it better, as people are becoming more aware of it, at the same time it presents a lot of challenges, because we have a lot more questions to answer. With these new satellite data sets, I think it's just going to be invaluable to help us answer those questions. Satellite data is a critical piece of the data puzzle that we're trying to put together here at BreezoMeter and I can see, that everything that you guys are planning in terms of our quality is going to be definitely folded into what we do.
Paul - I think it's important. I mean this is obvious, but this is a global problem, but it's also a hyper-local problem. In other words, the air quality at my house in the suburbs of Philadelphia is different from what it would be if I was even 10 miles away if I was downtown and West Chester PA, or even worse if I was downtown in Center City Philadelphia.
So it's a global problem at a hyper-local scale, which is what we're working to get to here at BreezoMeter, which is again, you can see, the data on your iPhone.
Paul - I’ve got a couple of questions here, one of them is about the air quality standards, are there any air quality standards, or common AQI recognized internationally, and then the answer is yes, actually we've developed. Because we have an application that's global we've developed something called the BreezoMeter quality index or known here colloquially as the BAQI. And so, that is a standardized air quality data set that you can see on Apple or you can get our APP. It's free and available to you.
The other question is where would be the best place to find detailed information on our models. That would be best to connect with us directly we're actually very transparent in terms of the work that we're doing and how we do it. Because we feel like it's really important in terms of the fact that we are providing hyper-local data at a global scale, to be able to provide you know the methodologies that we're using to do that and we're and, as you can tell from this call we're leveraging a lot of government data, a lot of data from NASA data from the EPA.
And also data from the equivalent EPAs all around the world and, yes, this recording will be recorded and so you can share it with your friends, and we encourage that actually.
Okay well we've it's about 1125 my time john you have any last thoughts or any questions anybody else has.
John - Just again, to thank you again and Paul, Marcus for inviting me to speak today, and this is a great platform and to get the information out to the world, I will say just one more thing that it's, with our program at NASA with the health and air quality applications. About 10 years ago the health and air quality applications program were actually two separate programs. It was a public health program and an air quality program and the public health program mainly worked with epidemiologists and environmental health researchers looking at health impacts of adverse air quality, along with other health issues like infectious and vector-borne diseases. And the Air Quality Program used that data to work with regulators and policymakers on issues of air quality, and that was really an artificial stovepipe. That was really not the way you should do it.
We decided 10 years ago to merge those programs because really the only reason that we have air quality regulations or policies, of course, are the impact on human health. And you should have the epidemiologists who are studying the impacts of help from your quality in the same room as the regulators and the policymakers. So we merged those two programs back 10 years ago and it's been extremely successful and now we have a joint project between these two communities that should be talking to each other. And it all came about as part of a community-wide shift in thought to a new paradigm, known as one health.
And the one health paradigm that's now been adopted by CDC, EPA, and many other agencies is that we have to look at health in a holistic manner of animal health, environmental, health and human health, you have to look at those holistically because they're all interconnected, they all.
You have to study them all as a whole, in order to truly understand the challenges and the problems that we face, and so it takes a lot of interdisciplinary work, a lot of trans-disciplinary work. But it really has changed the way that people view using earth observations for these issues and saw the benefit with healthcare quality.
So I just wanted to point that out that it is a rapidly growing field, it is, you know, we've been using, and I say we as meteorologists, we've been using earth observing satellite data since 1960, for weather forecasting, since the launch of tiros one, the first weather satellite launched by NASA in 1960. But the use of earth observations for health issues has really only come about the past 20 or 30 years and it's really entering what I think is its golden age. And, as I said, our portfolio is bigger than ever, we have more and more partners worldwide, including such as you with three sounders using our data for these issues, and it is a growth industry I'll put it and I say that only getting bigger and better as time goes on. You know people immediately think when they think of weather forecasts, I think people have an intuitive knowledge that, yes, we're using satellite data. They can look at satellite images of hurricanes and things like that. But I think, it's very soon, if not already, that people when they're thinking about air quality they're going to think, Oh, I know we're using satellite data for that because we see it so ubiquitously available across the world.
Paul - John I actually have another question coming in that I think you can help answer. This actually comes from our friend Nancy. Nancy Colleton and actually it's a great question on the back of the new WHO standards that were released last week as part of climate week which effectively cuts in half the amount of you know PM 2.5 that is considered unhealthy so her question is, how can we ensure that current and new air quality data helps to better inform national and international policy and what can government and industry do in that regard.
That's a good question.
John - Yeah can you repeat that one more time Paul.
Paul - How can we ensure that our new AQ data sets that we have, both from NASA as well as from commercial sources helps to better inform national and international policy and how can government help in that regard, and so I think within the framework of the new standards, which is the first time they've revised it in like 15 years. So, all of a sudden air quality is a bigger issue than it was two weeks ago.
John - Yes, exactly, and in those standards, like you said the first time, they didn't revise it quite some time, and they're challenging standards for the governments and nations worldwide to meet for the World Health Organization.
I think the number one thing is to make sure that the earth observing data, and I'm more focused on the satellite data, but when I say earth observing data, I mean all the data. Ground data, airborne data, satellite data, because you have to have all the pieces together to get a representative view of what's really happening in our earth system. As I always say satellite data nearest and dearest to my heart it's a big piece of the puzzle but it's not the only piece of the puzzle. But really the number one thing is to free and open access of this data to international, national policymakers, regulators, scientists, researchers across the world.
The United States is a charter member of an organization called the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) that was formed back in 2003 with over 100 Member States now across the world. And that's been its number one mission, since day one down 18 years ago, to break down those barriers for the free and open access of earth observing data to everybody in the globe for societal benefit and it's been tremendously successful I mean in the United States almost of our data is free and open access, but because of our commitment to the Group on Earth Observations, many years ago we released our landset data sets of land use, land cover as free they used to have to be paid for back many years ago. But now that's free as well to the world we've seen many other governments, European governments, etc, breaking down those barriers and allowing their data to be shared to anyone.
And not only is that a huge advantage for researchers and applications research and for policymakers it's a huge boon, of course, which is what Paul and Marcus are talking about, to the private sector. To be able to have the private sector come in and add value to those data sets that goes beyond the mission of government to help get that information, easily accessible and into the people's hands and so like I said I think more of the same as what we need.
Paul - Yeah yeah and you know it's the way that we're leveraging the data, and the way you're producing the data is exactly how that system is supposed to work because no private entity, well at least until now, no private company could build a constellation of satellites like that where the government and the private sector come together, where the private sector takes the raw data. And I think you know, Marcus, as you articulated we take the data from NASA and the satellite information, we also combine that data from EPA, we combine that with data we get from, in the US, from NOAA, from national weather service and mash that, all together, to use a non-technical term, using machine learning, etc, to create something that is global, it's a global scale, but it's at a hyper-local measurement so that then becomes useful for people and also businesses so it's a good example of how this system works.
Marcus - Oh, the technical term I think is smush we call it, we smush it together.
Paul - Okay. I like mash. But then again I'm not a Ph.D. so. I did, I was gonna say I played one on TV, but actually didn't. I was just on TV. Okay well great I think we've got all the questions.
Paul - Adam Saunders you'd ask a question about getting more detailed information you could just reach out to us, and then we can get you lots and lots of information.
I don't think I've got any more questions. This was fun. I'm looking forward to doing more of these actually, and this is the first time we, well certainly the first time that I've done that, and Marcus has done that, but hopefully, we'll see you in a month or so and we'll be talking about some other, you know, relevant topic, although the timing of this one was really interesting with the WHO releasing the new guides basically cutting things in half, and all of a sudden it's making the challenge of monitoring or quality and predicting it and living under the new standards, a little bit more challenging.
One more question from Alex: some companies are launching private constellations. Any comments? I guess that would be from your John.
John - Certainly, we work very closely with some of those private companies to work with, purchase, and utilize to obtain licenses for their private data set for example for Digital Globe from Planet Labs, things of that nature. And they serve a very important part when you're talking about our NASA observations, their environmental observations and the highest resolution they go to is with land use, land cover, which is from our land set satellite. At about a 30 meter resolution. But our satellites are not the ones that when you go into Google maps and zoom in and you see people's houses.
Those are not the resolution of our satellites, but a lot of times that satellite resolution is needed for particular health projects. For example, counting the number of dwellings in a certain area when you're doing epidemiological studies or things of that nature. So we actually work with those private companies at times to purchase licenses and data sets for researchers and applied researchers to utilize so there's certainly a very big role for them to play with their high-resolution data sets versus our environmental data sets and again all pieces of the greater jigsaw puzzle in order for us to answer these problems.
Paul - Great. Well John, thank you very much for taking the time to share this with us and with our customers and the folks that have dialed in, super interesting.
And Marcus, thank you again for your time and your and the great work you're doing with BreezoMeter to help us transform that data into something that becomes useful for people all over the world, frankly.
It's really useful stuff. So with that, I think, maybe we'll close it up and we'll tell everybody to have a good weekend I guess today's Thursday so we're getting close to it yeah.
John - So thanks again.
Paul - Alright, thanks, John.
Marcus - Thank you.