Central Laboratories

Central Laboratories

The following Central Laboratories (in black on the map) will provide access in the framework of ATMO-ACCESS:


Integrated Carbon Observation System Atmospheric Thematic Center


Location: Plateau de Saclay, Paris suburb, France

Web site address: https://icos-atc.lsce.ipsl.fr/

The ATC of ICOS in LSCE performs the data processing of all Atmospheric data in Europe and hosts the atmospheric metrology laboratory: MLAB of ICOS. The Mlab holds ultra-precise reference GHG instruments used in the calibration of ICOS instruments before in situ deployment. Its calibration protocols have been adopted by the industry. It coordinates the measurements specification of ICOS Atmosphere and has worldwide recognized expertise on the subject. The test bench of the ICOS Mlab allow full characterisation of GHG instruments metrological performances. In particular: precision, repeatability, drift, linearity, sensitivity, cross talk, etc. Mlab water bench enables water vapour correction validation and optimisation when needed.


Centre for Reactive Trace Gases In Situ Measurements

APRECON-TOFMS for the analysis of VOCs and halocarbons in sample canisters

Location: Duebendorf, Switzerland

Web site address: https://www.empa.ch/web/s503

Services offered at CiGAS-CH

For VOCs EMPA is the Swiss node of the ACTRIS Central facility CiGAS. In ATMO-ACCESS the CiGAS-CH facility of EMPA will provide 3 services related to trace compounds in air samples filled in canisters: 1- Measurement and calibration for VOCs; 2- Measurement and calibration for halocarbons;, 3- Measurement and calibration for N2O isotopes. These measurements can be used for source allocation and emission estimation of VOCs, halocarbons and N2O. EMPA has a long-standing experience in these analyses and is one of the only institutes equipped with analytics, mass-spectrometers and laser-based instruments, and link to international scales for these challenging measurements. Also a combination of these measurements is possible in the canisters. Furthermore, CiGAS-CH provides 4- remote access for the support of users of the @VOC@ tool, used for VOC data quality assessment.


World Calibration Center for Aerosol Physics

World Calibration Center for Aerosol Physics (WCCAP)

Location: Leipzig, Germany

Web site address: https://www.actris-ecac.eu/index.html

Services offered at WCCAP

WCCAP is the Germany node of the ACTRIS Central facility for Aerosol In Situ measurements, offering calibration, methodology and technical development, as well as and capacity building for microphysical and optical aerosol in-situ instrumentation for WMO-GAW, ACTRIS, national and international authorities as well as for small and medium-size enterprises. The WCCAP is also part and leads the ACTRIS aerosol in situ Topical Centre called the European Centre for Aerosol Calibration and Characterisation (ECAC).


Aerosol Chemical Monitor Calibration Centre


Location: Plateau de Saclay, France (25 km South of Paris)

Website: https://acmcc.lsce.ipsl.fr/doku.php

The ACMCC is the French unit of the ACTRIS Centre for Aerosol In Situ measurements (CAIS/ECAC) hosted at the SIRTA atmospheric observatory. It ensures the role of European technical reference for the whole chain of quality assurance and quality control of online characterization of the aerosol chemical composition (including   aerosol mass spectrometry), for both ambient and chamber measurements.  To that end, the ACMCC works on the drafting and dissemination of measurement protocols and methodological guides, on the definition of data validation criteria and schemes, on the improvement of calibration and instrumental implementation procedures, as well as on the sharing of knowledge and skills within the scientific community for the automatic measurement of aerosol chemical composition. It also aims at developing and maintaining tools for visualization and online validation of ACSM data from all ACTRIS sites, in partnership with the data center (including AERIS).


ACTRIS Centre for Cloud Remote Sensing – France

Actris Center for cloud Remote sensing (CCRES) radar calibration experiment II May 2018 SIRTA

Location: Plateau de Saclay, France (25 km South of Paris)

Website: Facilities | ACTRIS

CCRES-FR is the French unit and Central Facility leader of the ACTRIS Centre for Cloud Remote Sensing (CCRES). CCRES-FR unit is hosted at the SIRTA atmospheric research observatory, and provides support to derive vertical profiles of cloud macrophysical and microphysical properties and related atmospheric variables. In particular, CCRES-FR puts its long-standing expertise in Ka and W-band (35 and 95 GHz) doppler cloud radar (DCR) to offer DCR state-of-the art quality assurance and quality control procedures, operators and users capacity building, improvements of measurement methodologies, as well as low uncertainty calibration following harmonized protocols and tools.

The CCRES-FR facility offers access to active remote sensing instrumentation, namely to doppler millimetre-band cloud radars, automatic low power lidars, microwave radiometers, doppler lidar and disdrometers. The indoor-outdoor facility has a large hosting capacity allowing users to organize field campaigns, instrument tests, data analysis and training of young scientists.


ACTRIS Centre for Cloud Remote Sensing – NL

Location: Lopik, the Netherlands

Website: Facilities | ACTRIS

The TUD-NL (CCRES-NL) Unit is hosted at the Delft University of Technology (TUD), the largest technical university in The Netherlands, with a total of 22000 students and 4000 scientific staff. The department of Geoscience and Remote Sensing consist in total of about 100 researchers working on the integration of various ground-based remote sensing instruments as well as the combination of observations with atmospheric models in order to better understand the atmospheric water cycle. The CCRES-NL unit develops drone-aided radar calibration procedures (H2020 ACTRIS-2 programme). Using the multi-instrumented Ruisdael Observatory in Cabauw measurement methodologies and retrieval algorithms have been developed for the determination of cloud properties. Its main activities inside CCRES are the development of DCR calibration procedures, development of quality control package for DCR, training
of NF staff and users, organization of workshops and testing of new instruments.

Isolab – UU

Isotope laboratory at Utrecht University

System for measuring CH4 isotopic composition at UU

Location: Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Web site address:


Services offered at Isolab-UU

The Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Group (APCG) at Utrecht University operates a large analytical laboratory for isotope analysis of multiple isotope signatures of various greenhouse gases and related atmospheric trace gases. The laboratory is equipped with 9 isotope ratio mass spectrometer systems, including the high resolution, high sensitivity IRMS instrument 253 Ultra and optical analyzers. The laboratory has provided isotope service for methane isotopic composition already in the INGOS project and offers service to isotope analysis of CH4, CO and H2 in ATMO-ACCESS.


ACTRIS Centre for Aerosol Remote Sensing at Izaña Subtropical Facility

Image of Izaña Atmospheric Observatory. Main building with 160m2 horizon free terrace.

Location: Izaña Atmospheric Observatory, Tenerife, Sapin

Web site address: hhttps://izana.aemet.es/

Services offered at ISAF

The Izaña Atmospheric Research Center (IARC) at Meteorological State Agency of Spain (AEMET) is responsible of the Izaña Atmospheric Observatory, a centenary observatory in  Tenerife island at 2.400 m aprox asl therefor is normally above a temperature inversion layer, generally well established over the island, and below the descending branch of the Hadley cell. Consequently, it offers excellent conditions for trace gas and aerosol in situ measurements under “free troposphere” conditions, and for atmospheric observations by remote sensing techniques. The environmental conditions and pristine skies are optimal for calibration and validation activities of both ground-based and space-borne sensors, and the geographic location, it is particularly valuable for the investigation of dust transport from Africa to the North Atlantic, long-range transport of pollution from the Americas, and large-scale transport from the tropics to higher latitudes.

Our facilities include an aerosol laboratory for in-situ measurements, an optical laboratory for calibration and characterization of optical instruments, an horizon free terrace and more than 2000 m2 of other laboratories, storage place, etc., devoted to the study of atmospheric constituents, i.e. aerosol, reactive gases and trace gases observations, not only in-situ, but also in column and profiling. For more information read our biannual technical report.


CNR Lidar calibration centre

Overview of part of the CIAO facility

Location: Tito, Potenza, Italy

Web site address: https://www.actris.eu/facilities

CIAO (CNR-IMAA Atmospheric Observatory) is one of the most advanced infrastructures for ground based remote sensing in Europe equipped by multi-wavelength lidar and scanning cloud radar plus operative instruments. CIAO consists of a combination of advanced systems able to provide high quality long-term observations of aerosol and cloud properties, allowing to carry out studies by integrating data from several instruments. As a part of ACTRIS, it is one of the components of CARS (Centre for Aerosol Remote Sensing), being equipped with one of the two reference lidar systems for ACTRIS Aerosol Remote Sensing component. CIAO also hosts the Single Calculus Chain for the automatic analysis of EARLINET lidar data.

CIAO is going to enlarge the equipment with more advanced state of the art lidar systems (including a laboratory for characterization of optical components typically used in high power lidar systems and a laboratory to implement and test several lidar configurations), and instruments for aerosol in situ and clouds and trace gases remote sensing measurements. Additionally in the next few years CIAO will be equipped with ICOS Atmospheric in situ instruments.

CIAO geographic position, in the Mediterranean basin, but on a mountain far from big cities, makes the observatory the perfect location for investigating different aerosol types and atmospheric processes and set up experiments with the support of the researchers and technicians operating CIAO.


Lidar Calibration Centre

Location: Magurele, Ilfov, Romania

Web site address: https://www.actris.eu/

LiCAL is a newly developed laboratory within MARS (Magurele Atmosphere and Radiation Site) as one of the CARS facilities, aiming to enable the functionality of National Facilities operating high-power aerosol lidars, automatic low-power aerosol lidars and lunar photometers

LiCAL is designed for the characterization of lidar components like laser, optical and electronic parts, laser beam characterization, optical and spectral characterization of lenses, filters, mirrors and fiber optics and polarization measurements.

Assessment of the lidar overall performance is made by side-by-side comparison with other reference instruments part of CARS. The reference systems can be used for scientific lidars but also for different instruments (as ceilometers, sunphotometer or in situ measurements), both commercial and scientific.

LiCAL presentation movie: https://youtu.be/179iSNYLdQs


Centre for Cloud Ice Nucleation

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Location: Karlsruhe, Germany

Web site address: https://www.actris.eu/

The Center for Cloud Ice Nucleation (CCIce) is situated at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Here, the large atmospheric simulation chamber AIDA (Aerosol Interaction and Dynamics in the Atmosphere) is employed for cloud studies, instrument inter-comparison or calibration. Atmospheric online-measurements are realized via PM10 inlets installed at the institute’s roof top. The department’s building also houses a chemical laboratory, a workshop and generous lab-space.
For calibration and inter-comparisons of ice nucleating particle (INP) online-instrumentation, CCIce uses a dedicated mobile cloud chamber, the Portable Ice Nucleation Chamber PINE. Offline-derived INP immersion freezing spectra are measured using the Ice Nucleation Spectrometer of the Karlsruhe Insitute of Technology INSEKT freezing assay. A dedicated cloud chamber for INP instrument calibration and inter-comparison will be available soon.


The ICOS mobile laboratory

Website: https://icos-atc.lsce.ipsl.fr/mobilab

The ICOS ATC Mobile Laboratory is one of the units of the ICOS RI Atmospheric Thematic Centre. It is a specially equipped van which conducts on-site Quality Control for atmospheric station measurements by auditing the measurement system, calibration scales and parallel measurements using state-of-the-art instrumentation.