Aerosols, these tiny particles of the lower atmosphere, are one important component of atmosphere affecting climate (radiative effects, water cycle) and air quality.
For characterizing and monitoring aerosols, water wapor and clouds, LOA and Cimel, in collaboration with NASA’s GSFC, developed the robotic solar photometer for the AERONET network in the early 1990s. The meeting between CNRS and NASA researchers and the industrial company Cimel led to the definition of an automatic, robust, autonomous solar photometer that transmits its data by radio, providing AOD and particle size in real time. In 1998, the French component (PHOTONS) was awarded the INSU Observation Service label.
Cimel is NASA – AERONET’s exclusive supplier of automatic Sun Sky Lunar photometers (CIMEL CE318-T) operating in near real time and providing aerosol optical and columnar microphysical properties.