ATTO project

ATTO: the Amazon Tall Tower Observatory, an Amazon research project

Keywords : ATTO, Aerosols, Photometer, Atmosphere

The Amazon Tall Tower Observatory (ATTO) is the world’s highest research facility located in the middle of the Amazon rainforest in northern Brazil. It is a research site with a 325 meters tower for atmospheric observations.

This joint German-Brazilian project was launched in 2008 in order to further the understanding of the Amazon rainforest and its interaction with the soil beneath and the atmosphere above. This is made possible by recording continuously meteorological, chemical and biological data such as greenhouse gases or aerosols.

Scientists and researchers on site hope to gain insights into how the Amazon interacts with the atmosphere and the soil. This region is very important for the global climate as Saharan dust, biomass smoke from Africa, urban and marine aerosols come from long distances due to the winds. It is vital to get a better understanding of this area for environmental decisions.

On this gigantic tower, a CE318-T photometer is installed at 210 meters from the ground and allows a more efficient calculation of the quantity of aerosols present in the air around this site. The photometer uses NASA’s AERONET calibration system to collect the most reliable data possible.

Cimel photometer on the tower (© NASA AERONET)

At the core of the project is to learn more about biogeochemical cycles, the water cycle and energy fluxes in the Amazon. The goal is to determine their impact on global climate and how they are influenced by the changing climate and land-use change.

ATTO teams strive to close a gap in the global climate monitoring network and want to improve climate prediction models and to recognize the importance of the Amazon within the climate system.

Thanks to our sun-photometer, the scientists on site were able to collect information on daily mean AOD values at 550 nm wavelength.  These data allowed us to analyze the soils present in the atmosphere of the Amazon forest. Here some results of the ATTO project with our sun-photometer between August and September 2019.

Citation: Hassan Bencherif, Nelson Bègue, Damaris Kirsch Pinheiro, David Du Preez, Jean-Maurice Cadet, et al.. Investigating the Long-Range Transport of Aerosol Plumes Following the Amazon Fires (August 2019): A Multi-Instrumental Approach from Ground-Based and Satellite Observations. Remote Sensing, MDPI, 2020, Advances in Remote Sensing of Biomass Burning, 12 (22), pp.3846.

Read the article here!

If you want to discover or learn more about this major project, visit: https://www.attoproject.org/

ESA – New remote sensing tech on satellite for atmospheric measurements

VEGA Rocket

ESA – New remote sensing tech on satellite for atmospheric measurements

3 SEPTEMBER 2020

On September 3rd 2020, ESA has launched 42 small satellites aboard a Vega rocket from Kourou in French Guiana for the Copernicus Project.

This new type of satellites capable of measuring CO2 emissions to the nearest kilometer and pinpointing their origin.

One of these nanosatellites, PICASSO, carries remote sensing technology developed which will be used to undertake measurements in the upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere.

PICASSO stands for Pico-Satellite for Atmospheric and Space Science Observations and it’s the first CubeSat nanosatellite mission of the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy.

Weighing only 3.5kg, it carries two measuring instruments for atmospheric research: A Visible Spectral Imager for Occultation and Nightglow (VISION) and a system to conduct plasma measurements in the ionosphere, the Sweeping Langmuir Probe (SLP).

This project of analysis and collection of satellite data will be carried out over 5 years. The aim is to obtain as much precise information as possible on the quantification of gases in the air.

We will be able to know exactly the real CO2 emission by country, cities and the origin of gases (if it’s anthropogenic or natural).

Thanks to this initiative, more and more surveillance systems will be sent into space over the next few years, which will help develop the market for remote sensing solutions.

Cimel will be part of this development by bringing additional data thanks to its photometers and LiDARs to help calibrate and validate data from satellites.

Credits: ESA-M. Pedoussaut

GPS roll-over

GPS roll-over the 3rd of November 2019 on the CE318-T

Important for existing CE318-T customers:

The GPS week counter has been reset the 3rd of November 2019.

Location data reports remained correct while the date and week number are affected. 

The CIMEL CE318-T photometer is impacted by the GPS week counter reset.

It is necessary to use the last version of the firmware for the photometer to remain operational.

Please see the related process bellow to check and update the right firmware version at your earliest convenience to fix the desynchronization.

You will need a computer and to be on site to connect on the control unit and update the firmware.

If you have any question or concern regarding the GPS roll-over issue, feel free to contact us.

Download the procedure here.

N.B.: If you are registered in AERONET, please contact the NASA AERONET team.

Sunbelt Spectra comparison with Standard ASTM G173: the Chilean case

Sunbelt Spectra comparison with Standard ASTM G173: the Chilean case

December, 2017

Two spectra of solar direct normal irradiance (including circumsolar) are estimated based on spatio-temporal averages of the relevant atmospheric parameters extracted from two different databases: MODIS satellite sensor retrievals and AERONET sun photometer network. The satellite database is used to calculate an average spectrum for the area of the Atacama Desert. The AERONET database is used for two purposes: (i) to apply bias-removal linear methods to correct the MODIS parameters over Atacama, and (ii) to calculate an average local spectrum for the Paranal station. The SMARTS radiative transfer model is used to obtain the three spectra developed in this study. Both the Atacama and Paranal spectra are compared against each other and also to the world reference, ASTM G173. In one of the cases, significant differences are found for short wavelengths. In order to quantify the relative importance of these spectral differences, the propagation of errors due to the use of each spectrum is evaluated for CSP applications over the Atacama Desert, considering twelve different scenarios involving the reflectance, transmittance or absorptance of various materials.

Citation: Marzo, Aitor & Polo, Jesus & Wilbert, Stefan & Gueymard, Chris & Jessen, Wilko & Ferrada, Pablo & Alonso-Montesinos, Joaquín & Ballestrín, Jesús. (2017). Sunbelt Spectra comparison with Standard ASTM G173: the Chilean case. AIP Conference Proceedings. 2033. 10.1063/1.5067195.

READ THE ARTICLE

Image source: Pixabay

COBIACC campaign

COBIACC campaign

Is the rural atmosphere better than elsewhere?

For the entire month of July in Caillouël-Crépigny (France), scientists from the University of Lille and ATMO Hauts-de-France will analyze particles in the air and their impact on health in rural areas.

Since 28 June, more than twenty air pollution measuring devices deployed over 100 m² in the commune of Caillouël-Crépigny (02) may answer this question.

Objectives: To understand the formation and the composition of particles and their precursors in the air in a rural environment during the summer period.

The sensors collect dust from the countryside and nearby dust from forests, roads, buildings and industries in the distance.

The facility consists of four containers installed on 100 m² in the village square of Caillouël-Crépigny. They accommodate twenty-two observation instruments including our Cimel Sun Sky Lunar CE318-T photometer as well as our CE376 micro-LiDAR. These instruments, unique in France, measure the impact of climate change on air quality, biodiversity and health. Thirty researchers take turns night and day to study the chemical modifications of particles during periods of high heat.

This campaign was named COBIACC for Campagne d’OBservation Intensive des Aérosols et précurseurs à Caillouël-Crépigny. It is the result of a partnership between Labex CaPPA, a laboratory of excellence in Lille, CPER Climibio, an environmental project involving 16 laboratories in the Hauts-de-France and Atmo Hauts-de-France, the regional air quality observatory.

Laboratories involved: