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ACTRIS-2 Report Summary

Project ID: 654109
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ACTRIS-2 (Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research InfraStructure)

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2016-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

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.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Work performed is proceeding according to the DoA. Efforts have been pursued, in particular through NA activities, to ensure that ACTRIS data and data products are made readily available to the community of users in the most suited format. Main achievements are:
• New data processing chains of both the aerosol and cloud profiling realized and suited to growing needs due to the increased number of stations, instruments and data products (WP2).
• New measurement capabilities have been set up 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 have been prepared, including SOP for on-line aerosol detection with Aerosol mass spectrometers (WP3)
• Access to ACTRIS facilities (WP9) was granted to 23 TNA projects at 13 advanced observational facilities in Europe. TNA projects have mostly targeted training in observation measurements, development of scientific expertise, and participation in collaborative campaigns. They involved 43 researchers from the academic community. A majority of them (72%) are new users, young scientists (58%) and female scientists (56%).
• Access to ACTRIS facilities (WP9) was granted to users working in institutions outside Europe (25% of TNA projects).
• LiCal for proper evaluation, maintenance, calibration and operation of the lidar systems granted training to 41 users from 26 institutions (WP6)
• AERONET-Europe for securing the production of high quality primary data sources such as spectral AOD and Sky radiances granted 147 remote accesses to individual academic users, networks (UK Met Office, China) and SMEs (WP7).
• ECAC addressing a variety of instruments used to determine the main physical, optical and chemical aerosol properties organized 19 calibration and intercomparison workshops (WP8)
• A total of 9 SMEs have used ACTRIS facilities for testing new instruments.
• A specific Non Disclosure Agreement has been developed together with the private sector in order to facilitate the collaboration with the private sector under a mutual-support concept (WP4).
• Information from ACTRIS data centre increased significantly since the beginning of the project. As of end of RP1, data from about 75 sites and ~130 different atmospheric variables, of these ca 100 different trace gases, 10 different aerosol variables measured near the surface, 10 aerosol profile variables, and 8 cloud variables are available (WP10).
• The NRT data flow of near surface data has increased from 5 to 14, and number of instruments from 8 to 24 (WP10).
• ACTRIS-2 maintained its activity towards young scientists and engineers involved in operating stations through advanced and basic courses that received applicants from all areas in the World (WP5).
• Integration of in-situ and column information was achieved in closure-like experiments organised at specific ACTRIS sites (WP11).
• The tower-based particle flux measurements are either ongoing or measurement campaigns have already been conducted (WP12)
• New tools are available for data analysis through the ACTRIS DC such as a toolbox to plot observations and model data (WP13).

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

ACTRIS-2 activities and results achieved have contributed to the expected impacts:
• development and implementation of new algorithms and products as well as calibration standards;
• link with the Copernicus Atmospheric Services (CAMS) to continuously harvest ACTRIS-2 surface in situ data;
• active cooperation with SMEs have already brought to significant results in testing new instruments, and in developing new technical solutions and specific data processing for improved data product;
• the opportunity of physical access has contributed to enhanced international collaboration, knowledge transfer to young and new researchers in the field, instrumental synergies and testing, and particularly the development of scientific excellence;
• ACTRIS Data Centre is proving harmonised aerosol and trace gas measurements to a global scientific community. The users of ACTRIS aerosol profiles and near surface data are distributed worldwide. 466 different access IDs from 40 countries have downloaded 19216 measurement years of data over the reporting period from all instruments. These are quality assured data sets, complying with the ACTRIS Data Management Plan, recommendations and procedures;
• ACTRIS liaised with other Environmental Research Infrastructures (ENVRI) and worked towards improving interoperability with of its Data Centre with other ENVRI DCs;
• ACTRIS-2 partners contributed to writing the new implementation strategy of WMO-GAW, but also the recommendation made to GEO for developing its in-situ component;
• ACTRIS-2 has established connexions with European networks like EMEP and organisation like EEA, GEO, WMO. Connexions were reinforced with BIPM and National Metrological Institutes in several European countries to work towards establishment of new standards and reference methods.;
• ACTRIS entered the new ESFRI roadmap and was eligible to INFRADEV-2 2016 call for proposal to which it applied successfully;
• 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.

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