Skip to main content

Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research InfraStructure

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - ACTRIS-2 (Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research InfraStructure)

Reporting period: 2018-01-01 to 2019-04-30

ACTRIS-2 consolidates and improves services offered within FP7 funded Integrating Activities project ACTRIS (2011-2015). ACTRIS-2 takes up the overarching objectives of ACTRIS to further integrate the European ground-based stations equipped with advanced atmospheric probing instrumentation for aerosols, clouds, and short-lived gas-phase species.
The overall objectives are:
• To maintain and increase availability of long-term observational data relevant to climate and air-quality research on the regional scale produced with standardized or comparable procedures throughout the ACTRIS network of stations;
• To further develop and disseminate integration tools to fully exploit the use of multiple atmospheric techniques at ground-based stations, in particular for the calibration/validation/integration of satellite sensors and for the improvement of the parameterizations used in global and regional-scale climate and air-quality models;
• To open calibration facilities and advanced observing platforms to Trans-National Access to the benefit of a large user community, including SMEs, and to further facilitate virtual access to high-quality information, tools and services enhancing the ACTRIS Data Centre;
• To maintain and enhance capacity of training in the field of atmospheric observations particularly directed to new users including those from non-EU developing countries;
• To increase the Technology Readiness Level of technologies for atmospheric observation of aerosols, clouds, and trace gases in close partnership with EU SMEs associated to the project.
• To develop a sustainable strategy for maintaining ACTRIS-services in the long-term, improving synergies with all relevant research infrastructures in the field of environmental sciences and coordination with national strategies in the EU.
• ACTRIS-2 represents a fundamental step towards the establishment of the atmospheric component of the Integrated European Observing System and a clear upgrade in services offered to users.
ACTRIS-2 represents a fundamental step towards the establishment of the atmospheric component of the Integrated European Observing System and a clear upgrade in services offered to users.
Work has been performed according to the DoA to ensure implementation of ACTRIS services favouring provision of data of highest quality and use of ACTRIS facilities and resources. New data processing chains in most suited format have been developed for almost all ACTRIS components involving an increased number of stations. To date, ACTRIS data include about 110 different atmospheric variables, comprising about 80 different trace gases, 12 different in situ aerosol variables, 10 aerosol profile variables, 8 cloud profile variables. The measurements use almost 40 different methodologies with time resolution from seconds to 1 week. Additionally, ACTRIS provides near real time data (NRT) from about 25 sites. Significant access to calibrations centres has been offered (AERONET-Europe, LICAL, ECAC), technical developments made and implemented as Standard Operating Procedures, and training to young station operators provided. Higher than expected access to the observational ACTRIS-2 stations has been provided. ACTRIS TNA has outreach world-wide (with 14% of users from outside Europe) and to the private sector (23 different SMEs, recurrent access). To mention particularly:
• Set up of new measurement capabilities at a number of facilities operating aerosol and cloud profiling sites paralleled with development of common data products regarding aerosol, wind and water vapour (WP2).
• New Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for sampling and analysis of a selection of organic tracers and VOCs, including SOP for on-line aerosol detection with Aerosol mass spectrometers (WP3).
• LiCal granted a total of 938.5 access days to 187 users, covering more than 115% from the initial estimated access for training, assistance for system debugging, quality checks, instrument characterization and inter-comparison also for non-EU users (13%), with a 24.6% of the users being women (WP6).
• AERONET-Europe granted 416 remote accesses to individual academic users, networks (UK Met Office, China) and SMEs (WP7). About 50% of the accesses are provided to users outside the ACTRIS consortium.
• The ECAC calibration and intercomparison workshops supported 323 projects (users) to address instrument and measurement uncertainties for measuring physical, optical and chemical aerosol properties (WP8).
• 17 ACTRIS advanced observational facilities in Europe have granted access to more than 150 research teams (370 users), accounting for 3202 access days (2195 estimated), with 10% from the private sector (WP9). More than 70% are new users and about 1/3 are young scientists.
• A specific Non-Disclosure Agreement was developed to facilitate the collaboration with the private sector under a mutual-support concept (WP4).
• ACTRIS Data Centre activities have increased significantly since project start with a significant number of different atmospheric variables, both in situ and profiles, available (WP10). Ca 25000 visits in the DC between 2015-2018 from 93 different countries to QA/QC and harmonized ACTRIS data and measurements, tools and new products, based on the ACTRIS Data Management Plan, recommendations and procedures. ACTRIS provides near real time data (NRT) from numerous sites with increased data flow: aerosol in situ NRT data is provided from 51 instruments distributed over 16 sites, practically all 9 ACTRIS cloud profile sites have provided data in NRT, and data of 17 aerosol profile sites are automatic transferred in NRT to the DC. The interoperability of DC with general international standards was facilitated in collaboration and compliance with the Environmental Research Infrastructures (ENVRI).
• Several relevant research campaigns were implemented within WP11 and 12 for developing new methodologies in the future. New tools are available for data analysis through the ACTRIS DC such as a toolbox to plot observations and model data (WP13).
The technologies and standards developed within ACTRIS-2 have significant socio-economic impact and result from its capacity to offer TNA, notably the engagement with National Metrological Institutes for the development of standards in EMPIR projects and an active participation of SMEs in TNA for testing new technical solutions and specific data processing
The impact is also linked to the clear positioning of ACTRIS in the current landscape of Earth Observation system (ESFRI project since 2016 and completing its preparatory phase activities in 2019). The ACTRIS Data Centre is a central element for the provision of short-lived climate species data to the entire community worldwide, with increasing number of access to data and products in particular with the Satellite Cal/Val and modelling communities. ACTRIS is identified and present in the landscape of research organizations (WMO, EUMETNET, ESA, EEA, GEO EMEP), ACTRIS-2 partners contributed to writing the new WMO-GAW implementation strategy, and to recommendations to GEO for developing its in-situ component, and ACTRIS is a key partner of ENVRI and ENVRI-FAIR. ACTRIS-2 maintained a very active training and education program directed towards both European and non-European scientists, developing an «all-chain» educational approach, from measurements to use of information.
Calibration of commercial Calitoo photometers (Tenum) at AE-IZA calibration site (Izana, Spain)
Calibration of ACSM instruments at ACMCC
3-dimensional sonic anemometer and inlet tube to particle counter 60m above ground at Cabauw, NL
Lical infrastructure and services
View of the update of AERONET Europe calibration platform for reference photometer at Izaña Observat
ACTRIS-2 observational facilities providing physical TNA
Schematic of the Melpitz column: Combination of measurements of aerosol particles
ACTRIS Data Centre Statistics
Overview of number and locations over time of ACTRIS stations and instruments reporting NRT
Doppler Cloud Radars calibration campaign configuration.
ACTRIS Logo
Evaluating the potential of ACTRIS-2 data for assimilation