European Space Agency ESA projects

On going projects 

MULTIPLY - Development of a European HSRL airborne facility


MULTIPLY project proposes the development of a novel multi-wavelength HSRL system (3b + 2a + 3d) for airborne operation, capable of retrieving the aerosol extinction, backscatter and depolarization profile distributions. The system will be designed to be especially compact and robust, both optically and mechanically. This will be addressed during the Phase A of the project.

The integration of the HSRL system on board of a EUFAR (EUropean Facility for Airborne Research) research aircraft will be addressed during the Phase B of the project. The new lidar system operation will be tested for in flight operation and further validated during a dedicated experimental campaign that will take place over a number of European lidar stations, members of EARLINET (European Aerosol Research Lidar NETwork).

DIVA - Demonstration of an Integrated approach for the Validation and exploitation of Atmospheric missions

ESA 4000121773/17/I-EF

DIVA is setting-up of a pilot hub to collect, handle, archive, and exploit in a synergetic way observational data, as provided by the future integrated atmospheric composition ground-based network infrastructure, for the validation of ESA and Copernicus missions. Current advances in atmospheric composition measurements from space require access to independent, high-quality, global atmospheric composition ground-based data for the validation of the upcoming European EO missions and payloads S3, S5p, ADM-Aeolus, EarthCARE, S4, S5, MERLIN, GOME-2c, 3MI. To address the societal benefits and scientific objectives set forth by the missions, the downstream services and GEOSS, coordinated development of synergistic ground-based measurements techniques and algorithms are needed.

FRM4RADAR - 94 GHz Miniature Network for EarthCARE Reference Measurements

ESA 4000122916/17/I-EF

The project will deploy, operate and exploit cloud radar data at two new sites, one in Sweden, and one in Romania, extending by this the geographical coverage of cloud observations in Europe towards North and East. Transfer of expertise from UC to INOE and SMHI is planned, as well as joint research with FMI for adjustment and implementation of the Cloudnet algorithm suite. According to the SoW, the project will be divided into five major tasks (from now on referred to as Work Packages WP) focusing on the procurement, set-up and testing of the instruments, definition of operation procedures and data handling procedures, and development of specific products for EarthCARE Cal/Val. Special attention will be paid to the quality control of various levels of data products, and the usefulness of the low-cost Doppler radars in Cal/Val of satellite products, and in cloud microphysics studies.

APEL  - Pilot Study on Assessment of atmospheric optical properties during biomass burning events and long-range transport of desert dust

ESA 4000117289/16/F/MOS

The main scope of this activity is to foster the exchange of expertise between EARLINET and LALINET and to increase the capability of joint research, and thus setting the groundwork for the future Cal/Val of ESA’s atmospheric satellite missions. Beyond its short-term targets (presented below), the APEL project fosters research excellence in the field and supports international partnerships in applied space research. An integration between LALINET and EARLINET is a must, as a global measurement and data analysis protocol should be followed. Nowadays LALINET is developing its expertise on these issues and in this context supervision by a well-established network is desirable. Also, quality assurance and quality checks (QA/QC) standards should be followed in order to harmonize the different instruments available in LALINET and bring them down to a set of tests and procedures which are already acceptable among other networks.

SAMIRA - SAtellite based Monitoring Initiative for Regional Air quality

ESA  4000117393/16/I-NB

The overall goal of SAMIRA is to improve regional and local air quality monitoring through synergetic use of data from present and upcoming satellites, traditionally used in situ air quality monitoring networks and output from chemical transport models. Through collaborative efforts in four countries (Poland, Romania, The Czech Republic, and Norway) with different, but pressing air quality problems, SAMIRA aims to support the selected institutions and associated users in their national monitoring obligations as well as to generate novel research in this area.

Completed projects

NATALI - Neural network Aerosol Typing Algorithm based on LIdar data

ESA AO/1-7557/13/NL/SC 

The general goal of this project is to intensify the participation of the Romanian scientific community to the "ESA contributing missions" through the development of new tools for aerosol typing based on optical (active) remote sensing data. These products are relevant for several satellite missions, as detailed in Section 6, and have multiple applications for Earth Observation Envelope Programme (EOEP-4). Moreover, they will foster a wider use of the satellite services in fields like air quality, climate change, atmospheric research, and aviation safety.


 On going projects

ACTRIS PPP - Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research InfraStructure Preparatory Phase 

GA H2020-INFRADEV-2016-2017, ctr. 739530

ACTRIS PPP builds on the outcome of previous ACTRIS projects, and will run in parallel with ACTRIS-2. ACTRIS PPP will establish the legal, financial and administrative elements of ACTRIS and finalise the planning of the technical work and support the construction of ACTRIS facilities. The decisions on site locations and service portfolio will be performed within the framework of ACTRIS PPP. In addition, ACTRIS PPP will develop the service policies and RI access requirements, establishing a service access management unit to provide coordinated and easy access to RI services for users.With reference to the status of ACTRIS implementation and the distributed nature of the ACTRIS research infrastructure, the strategic goals of ACTRIS PPP are to:establish the most suitable governance and management structure for ACTRIS at European level;support the establishment of ACTRIS as a legal entity via mutual agreement among the countries involved regarding the core legal entity and the governance structure of the infrastructure for its longterm operation;develop the ACTRIS financial framework implementing the financial commitments of the ACTRIS members;identify and select the core National and Central Facilities of ACTRIS and finalise the required technical work of the RI;analyse the socio-economic impact of ACTRIS, link ACTRIS with European and international components of Earth observation and Earth system science (e.g. Group on Earth Observation, GEO), develop the longer-term overall strategy of the RI, and to build up the necessary agility of operation to meet future user requirements.

RINGO - Readiness of ICOS for Necessities of integrated Global Observations

H2020 - INFRADEV 2016-2017, Project no. 730944

The proposed project “Readiness of ICOS for Necessities of integrated Global Observations” (RINGO) aims to further development of ICOS RI and ICOS ERIC and foster its sustainability. The challenges are to further develop the readiness of ICOS RI along five principal objectives: Scientific readiness. To support the further consolidation of the observational networks and enhance their quality. This objective is mainly science-guided and will increase the readiness of ICOS RI to be the European pillar in a global observation system on greenhouse gases; Geographical readiness. To enhance ICOS membership and sustainability by supporting interested countries to build a national consortium, to promote ICOS towards the national stakeholders, to receive consultancy e.g. on possibilities to use EU structural fund to build the infrastructure for ICOS observations and also to receive training to improve the readiness of the scientists to work inside ICOS; Technological readiness. To further develop and standardize technologies for greenhouse gas observations necessary to foster new knowledge demands and to account for and contribute to technological advances' Data readiness. To improve data streams towards different user groups, adapting to the developing and dynamic (web) standards;Political and administrative readiness. To deepen the global cooperation of observational infrastructures and with that the common societal impact. Impact is expected on the further development and sustainability of ICOS via scientific, technical and managerial progress and by deepening the integration into global observation and data integration systems.

Completed projects

ACTRIS-2 - Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research InfraStructure

H2020-INFRAIA-2014-2015, Project no. 654109

ACTRIS 2 consolidates and improves services offered within FP7 funded Integrating Activities project ACTRIS (2011-2015). It 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. ACTRIS-2 responds to user needs: 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 - Aerosols, Clouds and Trace gases Research Infrastructure Network

FP7 - INFRASTRUCTURES - 2010 - 1, Project no. 262254

ACTRIS is a research FP7 project which is intending to develop a pan European network of stations equipped with advanced remote sensing instruments for atmospheric monitoring. This project unites the existing networks as EARLINET, EUSAAR, CLOUDNET and AERONET for a complex infrastructure capable of providing long term relevant data for air quality and climatology from synergetic measurements and following standardized procedures. ACTRIS offers trans-national access to supersites, one of these being INOE-RADO. Main objectives: to provide long-term observational data and to substantially increase the number of high-quality data relevant to climate and air quality research on the regional scale produced with standardized or comparable procedures throughout the network. to provide a coordinated framework to support transnational access to European advanced infrastructures for atmospheric research strengthening high-quality collaboration in and outside the EU and access to high-quality information and services for the user communities (research, Environmental protection agencies, etc.). to develop new 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. ACTRIS aims at providing time series of climate and air quality related variables not directly measured which are presently not available through existing data centers. to enhance training of new scientists and new users in particular students, young scientists, and scientists from eastern European and non-EU developing countries in the field of atmospheric observation. to promote the development of new technologies for atmospheric observation of aerosols, clouds and trace gases through close partnership with EU companies. ACTRIS aims at contributing to more than 4 new operating standards for atmospheric monitoring by the end of the project. 

ECARS  - East European Centre for Atmospheric Remote Sensing 

H2020 - TWINN - 2015, Project no. 692014

 The overarching objective of the ECARS project is to boost INOE’s research capacity in the domain of atmospheric remote sensing and create a pole of excellence in East Europe. In view of this overarching objective and in order to meet the expected impacts specified by the Call, ECARS has defined three top-level objectives governing the activities carried out in the project: Strengthen INOE’s expertise in ground-based, airborne and satellite remote sensing technology and data exploitation; Improve INOE’s research performance index by bridging the scientific gap with world class institutions and networks; Increase INOE’s international visibility and links within the scientific community and public.


ITARS - Initial Training for Atmospheric Remote Sensing Network

FP7 - PEOPLE - ITN, Project number 289923

ITARS is a research FP7 project whose goal is to bring together a group of universities, research organizations and high-tech companies from different disciplines (meteorology, geosciences, physics, electrical engineering, mathematics) with the aim to foster training and further development in the area of remote sensing of the atmosphere. Main objectives: to impart an in-depth understanding of instrumentation and algorithms needed to retrieve geophysical quantities and atmospheric applications; to foster the synergy of different sensors by bringing together experts from the individual techniques; to develop and implement pan-European courses on atmospheric remote sensing by exploiting new web-based techniques; to close the gap between the specialized development of single instruments and atmospheric applications by training a new generation of scientists in academia and the private sector.


DELICAT - Demonstration of Lidar Based Clear Air Turbulence detection

FP7 - AAT - 2008 - RTD - 1, Project no. 233801

DELICAT is a FP7 research project with multinational consortium for development of a compact lidar system to be installed on commercial airplanes to remotely detect clean air turbulences. Using this instrument the pilots will be able to prevent air turbulences, therefore improving both the comfort and the security of the passengers. The objective of DELICAT is to test and validate an efficient Clear Air Turbulence detection mean, based on a LIDAR system, providing an operational protection for the passengers and crewmembers. This detection will be efficient in case of Mountain Wave turbulence as well as in case of shear-induced turbulence, where no rain or hail is present and then where the weather radar is useless. In that sense, the LIDAR based turbulence sensor is complementary of the airborne weather radar.

DELICE -  Developing the Emerging research potential of Romanian Lidar Centre

FP7 - REGPOT - 2008 - 1, Project no. 229907

DELICE  was a FP7 project for development of the supersite INOE through acquisition of an aerosol mass spectrometer - unique in Romania (for aerosol chemical composition and size distribution), a microwave radiometer (to measure the vertical profiles of temperature and humidity) and a sodar (for vertical profiles of wind directions and speed). All come along with dedicated training sessions, collaborations with Diaspora and international partners. DELICE has created a team capable of training others, the teams of the new active remote sensing stations in Romania and bring in our country the needed know-how for development of a national lidar network. The main objective of this project was to increase the research capacities of the National Institute of R&D for Optoelectronics (INOE) by developing the remote sensing activities to stimulate its full research potential contributing to the realization of European Research Area as a ”common market for research”. Main objectives:Unlocking the ROmanian LIdar CEntre (ROLICE) potential; Increasing quantitatively and qualitatively the regional capacity Extending strategic partnerships; Extending strategic partnerships. 


RADO  - Romanian Atmospheric research 3D Observatory 

STVES 115266

RADO is a project which combined infrastructure development, scientific research and training of the young researchers and also created solid premises for development of a new research field in Romania: active remote sensing.  The main result of the project is a modern atmospheric observatory, with nationwide spread stations connected to specific international networks (EARLINET, AERONET, MWRNET). All observatory fields are open to the society in one way or the other: transnational access to infrastructure for researchers, training and access to the laboratories for master and doctoral students, special designed science programs for young children and high school students. Since 28 September 2011 the Observatory became operationally. This project's main objective was to improve relations between science and society, through development of a new infrastructure, RADO-Romanian Atmospheric 3D research Observatory, to observe both Planetary Boundary Layer and free troposphere, capable of combining research education and practical training and to become an consultative organism for decision making assistance in the environmental field. This infrastructure, unique in the SE Europe, will become in the next years an active center for implementation of new projects and ideas in atmospheric phenomena and its interaction with the surface of the Earth. On long and medium term, RADO focuses on helping to improve the following major problems in Romania: lack of quality assured data of aerosol and greenhouse gases characteristics of Romanian atmosphere, nation-wide; very low potential in atmospheric research (inadequate facilities, inhomogeneous distribution of human resources at national level); low competitiveness in atmospheric research related to the European level; insufficient information related to international requirements and protocols (Kyoto, IPCC, etc); inadequate 3D monitoring at national level of the atmospheric processes, including vertical distribution of pollutants; lack of synergistic studies of atmospheric processes; low trust level related to nuclear risk assessment.



AEROS - Aerosols in Romania and Switzerland

SNSF IZERZO_142146 /1

AEROS is an bilateral research project funded by Romanian-Swiss Research Programme RSRP 2011 – 2016 aiming to develop a solid background of information that can be used to address air quality and climate issues in both Romania and Switzerland.


AQUA-GRO - Air quality assessment and study of transport processes along the axis Athens-Aegean Sea (Greece) and Bucharest (Romania) using Lidar techniques

GR-RO Intergovernmental Programme

The main objective of this proposal is the creation of a statistical database of the spatio-temporal evolution of the vertical distribution of aerosols over Romania (region of Bucharest) and Greece (Athens/Evia island/Aegean Sea) using ground-based remote sensing techniques (lidar). Meteorological data will be also used to quantify the long-range transport and deposition mechanisms involved and to identify the major aerosol sources affecting air quality over Romania (region of Bucharest) and Athens, Evia island (Aegean Sea)(Greece).

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