Currently in development, MAIA will make radiometric and polarimetric measurements needed to characterize the sizes, compositions and quantities of particulate matter in air pollution. As part of the MAIA investigation, researchers will combine MAIA measurements with population health records to better understand the connections between aerosol pollutants and health problems such as adverse birth outcomes, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and premature deaths.

The MAIA instrument measures the radiance and polarization of sunlight scattered by atmospheric aerosols, from which the abundance and characteristics of ground-level particulate matter (PM) are derived. The instrument contains a pushbroom spectropolarimetric camera on a two-axis gimbal for multiangle viewing, frequent target revisits, and inflight calibration.

The MAIA instrument is being developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). MAIA is a Venture-class investigation within NASA's Earth System Science Pathfinder Program.