ACTRIS-CAMS: Project Summary

CAMS_21a - Provision of ACTRIS Observations (surface)

The aerosol in-situ ACTRIS component comprises a number of Essential Climate Variables (ECV) including particle number concentration & size distribution, particle light absorption and scattering coefficients, and aerosol particle chemical composition. These variables are listed by ACTRIS as part of the minimal provision each facility should deliver to the ACTRIS Data Centre.  Accordingly, ACTRIS has developed the operation support unit with respect to quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) needed for these variables called the aerosol in-situ Topical Centre (TC).

The operation support provided by the TC “Centre for Aerosol In Situ Measurements” (CAIS) comprises: 

a) procedures and tools for quality assurance and quality control of ACTRIS measurements and data, 

b) transfer of knowledge and training to ACTRIS operators, and 

c) improvements of measurement methodologies for measurement of aerosol properties in-situ. 

The Centre defines all procedures needed to provide high-quality level data in an internationally accepted format.  

The objective of ACTRIS-CAMS in-situ Pilot is to demonstrate the process by which ACTRIS data can be provided in Near Real Time (NRT) with the highest possible quality. The contract will focus on 5 variables (particle number concentration, particle number size distribution, particle light scattering and absorption coefficients, mass concentration of non-refractory particulate organics and inorganics). For each variable, the current process for NRT submission will be upgraded by the different units of CAIS involved, tested at several sites and expanded to the ACTRIS network of stations. In the meantime, the most suitable options for delivering the data NRT will be investigated.

At the end of the contract, we expect that conditions for NRT delivery to CAMS will be agreed upon by the whole ACTRIS community and with CAMS to enter a more operational mode.


CAMS_21b – Provision of ACTRIS Observations (profiles) (ACTRIS-A pro CAMS)

The aerosol profile component of the ACTRIS has been built around the EARLINET (European Aerosol Research Lidar Network) network, the first lidar network for aerosol study on continental scale. Starting from very heterogeneous lidar stations in terms of system set-up and data processing, big efforts were profuse over the years for gaining in harmonization of the data processing and provision. Nowadays, ACTRIS/EARLINET has reached a degree of maturity that makes it suitable for near real time data provision. The current proposal aims to design, test and set up the provisioning to CAMS of quality controlled ACTRIS/EARLINET products in Real Real Time/Near Real Time (RRT/NRT). The activities will be focused on the automatic centralized data processing and data provision, ensuring the full traceability of the products from the data acquisition level up to the final quality-controlled data level.

The system for automatic data processing and provision will be firstly designed, then developed and tested on a first test station and finally implemented for a group of 9 stations representative of the whole network in terms of instrumental capability and assuring a good geographical coverage of the European continent.

The successful implementation of the proposal will allow the provision to the CAMS services of aerosol optical property profiles at a set of observational sites distributed over the different European regions which could be of interest for the assimilation, NRT evaluation and re-analysis evaluation of some of the CAMS products involving the aerosol load over Europe for air quality issues, atmospheric composition, climate forcing and solar and UV products. In particular, this will be the first time that aerosol profiles from high quality ground-based network are provided in NRT for this kind of applications. In addition, the feasibility of RRT provision of the ACTRIS/EARLINET data will be investigated.

In synthesis, this contract aims to put in place an efficient system for the ACTRIS aerosol profile provision to ECMWF. In case this will be considered valuable from ECMWF the system could then run in the future under a further contract where the stations will need support for running the systems and handling the effective provision. The follow up of this current contract with a second one would see a completely different budget balance with more budget for the stations (to be defined based on the effective resolution-sampling schema defined) and a considerably reduced budget (compared to the current one) for the ACTRIS DC node (CNR).

The proposed activities will be carried out on building upon the expertise on centralized data processing and data management, gained under the H2020 projects ACTRIS-2 and ENVRIPLUS, and previously under FP7 and FP6 projects ACTRIS, and EARLINET-ASOS.