Cabauw Experimental Site for Atmospheric Research (credits A. Apituley)

Observational platforms test

Observational platforms test

Warsaw Observatory Station (WOS)

Location: Warsaw, Poland

Web site address:

The WOS located in the urban agglomeration of Warsaw (lowlands of East-Central Europe) is a research facility of the Faculty of Physics at the Research University of Warsaw. This observational site, established in 2013, proved to be very active within the ACTRIS. It is composed of main laboratories: Remote Sensing Lab, Radiation Transfer Lab and Fluid dynamics Lab with collocated ground based and elevated (25m) platforms and electronic workshop, optical clean room, seminar and social rooms where users can deploy their own instruments. It is equipped with sensors providing information on aerosol optical properties and water vapour that permit measurements within the free troposphere and in the boundary layer over Warsaw. 

EVora Atmospheric Science Observatory (EVASO)

Location: Evora, Portugal

Web site address:

EVASO is a background station, located in the less densely populated region in south western Europe, suffering events of aerosol loading due to long range transport from the Saharan regions (mineral dust) as well as episodes of biomass burning due to local or remote forest fires. In addition, the high number of cloudless days allows for long term observations in cloud free conditions. The EVASO infrastructure includes an atmospheric science observatory equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation for aerosol and trace gases active and passive remote sensing as well as several instruments for in-situ aerosol monitoring. 

Romanian Atmospheric 3D research Observatory (RADO)

Location: Magurele, Romania

Web site address:

RADO is a GAW regional station, located in a suburban area, flat terrain, 6 km SW from Bucharest city. The site is ideal for studying aerosol microphysics, clear-sky direct aerosol radiative forcing, aerosol-cloud interaction, fog, local and long range transported pollution, satellite sub-pixel variability, etc. RADO also hosts a Unit of the ACTRIS topical Centre for Aerosol Remote Sensing which is responsible for the QA/QC of the high-power lidars. RADO operates: 1) aerosol remote sensing instrumentation 2) aerosol in situ instrumentation, 3) cloud remote sensing instrumentation, 4) trace gases remote sensing instrumentation, 5) meteorological and radiation instrumentation: RADO offers physical and remote access to the facility for developing specific research projects and experiments based on synergy of measurements, training, scientific and satellite Cal/Val campaigns, testing of prototypes through direct comparisons. 

Izana Subtropical Access Facility (ISAF)

Izana Station

Location: La Orotava, Tenerife, Spain

Web site address:

ISAF is a Global Atmospheric Watch observatory located on a mountaintop at 2370 m.a.s.l. on Tenerife, Canary Islands, most of the time under free-troposphere conditions. It allows performing in-situ measurements of the NW North Atlantic airflows which may contain species emitted from anthropogenic emissions in North America, desert dust aerosol from the Sahara. Long term monitoring of in-situ greenhouse and reactive gases have been carried out since 1984, including aerosol in-situ and remote sensing, gas remote sensing and in-situ Greenhouse gases. It is a unique BSRN station to studies on dust radiative forcing. It host part of the CARS ACTRIS Central Facility. New technical developments are carried out under collaborations with private companies. 

Barcelona Cluster (BCN)

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Web site address:;

Barcelona Cluster (CSIC-UPC) Atmospheric Research network is a unique infrastructure for atmospheric research located in NE Spain. It is integrated by a cluster of three observational platforms for atmospheric aerosols: Montsec (MSA, mountain site, 1590 m a.s.l.), Montseny (MSY, Regional background, 720 m a.s.l.), and Barcelona (BCN, Urban background, 78 m a.s.l.). The network of sites is well-equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation complying with ACTRIS requirements for aerosol in –situ (MSA, MSY and BCN) and remote sensing (BCN) observational facilities, and with tools to estimate the aerosol radiative effects. All sites are also equipped with instruments for trace gases and two of them (MSY and BCN) will be equipped with instruments for VOCs online. Ceilometers are also operated at MSA and MSY, and a MPLNET lidar at BCN. Access to the network permits investigating three different environments, connecting Air Quality, Health and Climate Research. It is the only infrastructure as such in the Western Mediterranean Basin, a unique region for atmospheric research given the high insolation, the specific meteorology, the elevated emissions of pollutants, and the frequent impact of dust outbreaks.  

Andalusian Global ObseRvatory of the Atmosphere (AGORA)

Location: Granada, Spain

Web site address:

AGORA, located in Southern Spain, includes the main site: UGR station (37° 9’49.21″N, 3°36’17.94″W, 680 m a.s.l.) located in Granada and SNS station (37.09 N; 3.38 W; 2800 m a.s.l.) located at Sierra Nevada. Both stations operated as a combined observatory, allowing a synergetic study of aerosol and cloud interaction. UGR combines long-term monitoring of atmospheric aerosol and clouds by active and passive remote sensing, with in-situ measurements of aerosol particles and atmospheric radiation at several spectral ranges. SNS provides information on aerosol and cloud with in-situ instrumentation located around 2000 m above UGR station but within the same atmospheric column. 

Hyltemossa Research Station (HTM)

Location: Forest in southern Sweden; Nearest small town: Perstorp; Municipality: Klippan; Province: Skåne; Country: Sweden (56° 5′ 52″ N, 13°25′ 8″ E)

Web site address:

HTM is located in a highly productive and well-managed 40 years old spruce forest (Picea abies), in southern Sweden, and is comprised of a 150m ICOS tower, a 30m ACTRIS tower, an ICOS/ACTRIS laboratory building, an ACTRIS laboratory outside the forest and a main house (office, accommodation facilities).  HTM carries out continuous measurement of Greenhouse Gases under ICOS, and Aerosol in situ and reactive gases under ACTRIS. Further, wind speed/direction, air temperature and humidity are measured at the same levels as the GHG, air pressure near the ground. The planetary boundary layer height is measured by a ceilometer. An automatic flask sampler is in place at both stations for measurements of additional atmospheric trace gases from the top level. 

High Altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch (JFJ)

Photo taken at the Jungfraujoch measurement station during the ICOScapes photo campaign. (Photographer Konsta Punkka)

Location: Jungfraujoch, Switzerland

Web site address:

The research programmes on trace gases (i.e. greenhouse gases, reactive air pollutants) and aerosols at the Jungfraujoch (JFJ, 3571 m a.s.l.) are among the most comprehensive worldwide. The JFJ is the highest research station in Europe that is accessible all year by rail, and it is the only accessible observation point in Europe with adequate infrastructure that is within the free troposphere most of the year. Therefore, the JFJ station is of utmost importance for ground-based observations of the free troposphere, which is reflected by its participation in more than thirty national and international networks for atmospheric research. EMPA continuously measures more than 70 gaseous species of reactive gases and greenhouse gases including some of their isotopes. PSI measures all aerosol variables including aerosol physical, optical and chemical properties. As the observatory is within clouds 40% of the time throughout the year, it provides a unique opportunity for in situ studies of liquid clouds (in summer) and mixed-phase and glaciated clouds (in winter).

Previous platforms