US west coast forests are more and more in the grip of Wildfires.

Keywords : Aerosols, LiDARs, MicroLiDARs, Monitoring, Earth observation, Remote sensing, Wildfire, Smoke, Ash, Fires, Climate Change, Global Warming, Atmospheric Monitoring, Mobile Solutions, Air Quality

June 28th 2022

According to a recent UN report, forest fires will continue to increase by the end of the century. It is especially the case on the west coast of the United States, which is one of the countries most affected by this phenomenon. Whether they are natural or human-caused, these fires are devastating on a large scale.

The global warming makes the conditions more favorable to the start of fires and their proliferation. The climate change is worsening the impacts by prolonging the fire seasons.

California is the most wildfire-prone state in the United States. In 2021, over 9000 wildfires burned in the Southwestern state ravishing nearly 2.23 million acres.

Fires are a danger to life on the planet: smoke inhalation, soil degradation and water pollution, destruction of the habitats of many species… Not to mention the aggravation of global warming due to the destruction of forests, crucial to absorb the carbon that we emit.

Therefore, on summer 2019, NASA initiated FIREX-AQ mission so as to investigate on fire and smoke from wildfire using several measurement instruments across the world, and especially in the US.

NASA uses satellites combined with airborne and ground-based instruments to decipher the impact of wildfires.

The emissions of ash clouds resulting from the fire can be transported thousands of miles and can have an impact on air quality for example as they are responsible for a large fraction of the US PM2.5 emissions. Due to its microscopic size, PM2.5 is easily inhaled and has the potential to travel deep into our respiratory tracts, it can also remain airborne for long periods.

To date, wildfire outputs are still poorly represented in emission inventories.

The overarching objectives of FIREX-AQ are to:

  • Provide measurements of trace gas and aerosol emissions for wildfires and prescribed fires in great detail
  • Relate them to fuel and fire conditions at the point of emission
  • Characterize the conditions relating to plume rise
  • Follow plumes downwind to understand chemical transformation and air quality impacts
  • Assess the efficacy of satellite detections for estimating the emissions from sampled fires

For this purpose, CIMEL provided CE376 micro-LiDARs as well as its network of CE318-T photometers through AERONET. These solutions allowed detailed measurements of aerosols emitted from wildfires and agricultural fires to address science topics and evaluate impacts on local and regional air quality, and how satellite data can be used to estimate emissions more accurately.

Figure 1: CE376 micro-LiDAR and CE318-T photometers embarked on a car for FIREX-AQ mobile measurements campaign in Western US (2019).

Indeed, the synergy of the photometer with the mobile CE376 LiDAR allows profiling the extinction at 2 wavelengths (532, 808 nm) and of the Angstrom Exponent (AE). AE vertical profile and the depolarization capabilities of the CE376 allow identifying the aerosol type (fine/coarse). Below are some results from the FIREX-AQ 2019 mission:

Figure 2: Mapping of smoke vertical and spatial dispersion thanks to mobile LIDAR and photometer measurements by Dr. Ioana POPOVICI.   

Figure 3:  Mapping and modelization from FIREX-AQ campaign in Western US (2019) by LiDAR CE376.


FIREX-AQ experience proved that we are able to embark compact remote sensing instruments and install them quickly on site to access harsh environments and get close to fire sources, which has not been done before. Actually, it is the first time a LIDAR reaches that close to fire sources in a mountainous region.



Giles, D. M. and Holben, B. and Eck, T. F. and Slutsker, I. and LaRosa, A. D. and Sorokin, M. G. and Smirnov, A. and Sinyuk, A. and Schafer, J. and Kraft, J. and Scully, A. and Goloub, P. and Podvin, T. and Blarel, L. and Proniewski, L. and Popovici, I. and Dubois, G. and Lapionak, A., (2020), Ground-based Remote Sensing of the Williams Flats Fire Using Mobile AERONET DRAGON Measurements and Retrievals during FIREX-AQ, 2020, AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts.


Stratéole-2 Becool: microLiDARs span the globe aboard hot-air balloon up to 22km high in the stratosphere.

Keywords : Aerosols, LiDARs, monitoring, Earth observation, remote sensing, stratosphere, troposphere.

April 13th 2022

On the night of Wednesday, August 22, 2018, the CIMEL’s microLiDAR flew for the first time in a stratospheric balloon for the validation of the project, from Timmins Air Force Base, in Ontario (Canada).

Stratéole-2 is a program of observation of the dynamics of the atmosphere in the intertropical zone developed in partnership between CNRS and CNES. The LATMOS (Atmosphere, environment and space observations laboratory) through its joint laboratory with CIMEL: CIEL), the LMD (Dynamic Meteorology Laboratory) and the CSA (Canadian spatial agency) are also collaborating in this project. 

This Stratéole-2 project called BECOOL (BalloonbornE Cirrus and convective overshOOt Lidar) mainly consists in placing CIMEL’s MicroLiDARs in stratospheric hot-air balloons and flying them around the world. The on-board aerosols microLiDARs emit lasers downwards, contrary to the initial use (the shots are normally done from the ground towards the atmosphere).

The project Stratéole-2 represents several challenges as CIMEL had to develop, in collaboration with the LATMOS a microLiDAR prototype which must correspond to the following standards:

  • Weighting less than 7 kg
  • Consuming less than 10 W
  • Resisting to harsh temperature conditions

Indeed, CIMEL’s LiDARS are well known for their robustness and their energetic Self-reliance which allows a low maintenance: practical when the LiDARs are up to 20km in the stratosphere!

Figure 1: Preparation of a stratospheric balloon before the takeoff

The program uses stratospheric pressurized balloons filled with helium 11 to 13 meters in diameter. During 3 to 4 months, they are carried by the winds all around the tropical belt and are propelled up to 20 kilometers in the atmosphere. Some can travel across 80,000 kilometers around the world (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Stratéole-2 Long-duration balloon flights across the tropics to study atmospheric dynamics and composition /

The project includes a total of three measurement campaigns realized between 2018 and 2024. Contrary to the previous one which served as a validation, the second campaign was for scientific purposes. It started in mid-October 2021 and ended in April 2022 . No less than eight microLidar balloons were released in the atmosphere from the Seychelles (Mahé). They collected valuable information which will then be analyzed for the study of atmospheric phenomena and their role in the climate. The third campaign is planned for 2024.

The objectives are to try to clarify some of the grey areas that hinder our detailed understanding of the atmosphere and its role in the Earth’s climate. BECOOL allows scientists to study atmospheric dynamics and composition such as convection or the dynamic coupling between the troposphere and the stratosphere. Exchanges and air movements between these two atmospheric layers are important and influence the whole planet.

However, the tropical region is difficult to access. Consequently, the classical methods of observation (by satellites, by plane, …) are not enough. This is why using balloons is strategic: they are the only ones able to observe these phenomena in real time and very closely to the atmosphere.

“It is a completely original mode of sampling, which is not obtained otherwise and allows results of unequalled finesse” (A.Hertzog).

Below is a quicklook from a Stratéole-2 microLiDAR taken from a balloon.

Figure 3: Quicklook LATMOS-Stratéole 2018


E. J. Jensen et al, Bull. AMS, 129-143 (2017), M. McGill et al., Appl. Opt.,(41) 3725-3734 (2002), J. S. Haase et al., Geophys. Res.L., 39, (2012), P. Zhu et al., Geos. Inst. Meth. and Data Systems, 89-98, (2015) J.-E. Kim et al, Geophys. Res. L. (43), 5895-5901 (2016), S. Davis et al., J.Geophys Res, 115 (2010) S. Solomon et al., Science (327), 1219-1223 (2010) V. Mariage et al., Optics Express 25 (4), A73-A84 (2017) ,G. Di Donfrancesco et al., Appl. Opt. (45) 5701-5708 (2006)

François Ravetta, Vincent Mariage, Emmanuel Brousse, Eric d’Almeida, Frédéric Ferreira, et al.. BeCOOL: A Balloon-Borne Microlidar System Designed for Cirrus and Convective Overshoot Monitoring. EPJ Web of Conferences, EDP Sciences, 2020, The 29th International Laser Radar Conference (ILRC 29), 237, 07003 (2p.). ff10.1051/epjconf/202023707003ff. ffinsu-02896973f


Pearl and Opal CE318-T photometers recording AOD and measurements in Canada’s high Arctic for AEROCAN.

Keywords : Aerosols, photometer, monitoring, Earth observation, remote sensing, CAL/VAL, Arctic.

March 23rd 2022

The Canadian Arctic is probably one of the best areas to conduct climatological studies, especially on global warming given the purity of the atmosphere in this zone, especially due to the absence of anthropological pollution.

Nevertheless, this rather hostile land, due to its temperatures, can make the difficulties of recording measurements very real. Consequently, there is a lack of measurements in the Arctic, hence the need to install platforms with robust and reliable measuring instruments.

Some of those platforms, especially PEARL and OPAL, have a particular emphasis on the Arctic because Canada has a significant portion of its territory in the Arctic.

The Polar Environmental Atmospheric Research Lab (PEARL) and the zerO altitude Polar Atmosphere Laboratory (OPAL) which is part of PEARL, is operated by the CAnadian Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Change (CANDAC) which is a member of AEROCAN. Formed in 2005, PEARL constitutes a network of universities and government researchers dedicated to studying the changing atmosphere over Canada.

The first task of PEARL was to renew and operate the existing laboratory at Eureka in Nunavut, which was created to contribute to the world-wide effort to intensively study the Arctic region through AEROCAN.

The AEROCAN photometer network is run as a joint collaboration between the Université de Sherbrooke and the Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC). It is a full-fledged sub-network of the much larger AERONET network of Cimel photometers and benefits from all the services that AERONET offers.


  • Understanding atmospheric change over Canada
  • Integration of measurements taken from space, aircraft, balloons and the ground
  • Provision of quality-controlled research datasets to researchers
  • Linkage with international networks for data exchange and supranational planning

In addition, PEARL undertakes measurements that are simultaneous with those made by various satellite instruments. These “validation” measurements are extremely effective because of the location of PEARL and OPAL, and they further enhance the science return of the research as they use state-of-the-art technology solutions like the CE318-T Photometer.

PEARL is located at Eureka, Nunavut (80N, 86W) on Ellesmere Island in Canada’s high Arctic, 450 km north of Grise Fiord, the most northerly permanent settlement. This photometer site is 1,100 km from the North Pole. OPAL is located about 12 km southeast of the PEARL ridge lab which is at an elevation of 610 m. This dual placement was designed to study the layer between the two sites as well as provide an element of redundancy for the AOD measurements.

Figure 1: Location of PEARL and OPAL photometer sites (upper pictures : 2007 CANDAC/Ovidiu Pancrati, bottom picture: Norm O-Neill, Université de Sherbrooke)
Figure 2: PEARL CE378 Photometer pointing to the sun for a measurement scenario
Figure 3: Latest measurements from Opal (above) and Pearl (bottom) photometers depicting AOD (Aerosol Optical Depth). Credits: NASA AERONET:


A multi-year AOD and effective radius climatology for the high Arctic showed a number of consistent features using the Cimel CE318-T Photometer:
• Spring to summer decrease of fine-mode AOD (probably attributable to biomass burning and/or anthropogenic pollution)
• Significant correlation of fine mode AOD with CO (Carbon monoxide) concentration which indicates a predominance of biomass burning aerosols throughout the entire year
• West to East decrease in AOD on a pan-Arctic scale
Another study (Antuña-Marrero et al., 2022) has been conducted for water vapor research.
It shows that it is feasible to use Cimel CE318-T Photometer AERONET observations in the Arctic for water vapor research, considering the robust quantification of its dry bias that has been established.
As a matter of fact, AERONET imposes standardization of instruments, calibration, processing and distribution that Cimel is the exclusive provider. Its IWV (Integrated Water Vapor) observations are an ideal standard dataset to re-calibrate or homogenize the rest of the instrumental IWV observations to a predefined absolute standard dataset.


  • Antuña-Marrero, Juan Carlos & Román, Roberto & Cachorro, Victoria & Mateos, David & Toledano, Carlos & Calle, Abel & Antuña Sánchez, Juan Carlos & Vaquero-Martínez, Javier & Antón, Manuel & Baraja, Ángel. (2022). Integrated water vapor over the Arctic: Comparison between radiosondes and sun photometer observations. Atmospheric Research. 270. 106059. 10.1016/j.atmosres.2022.106059.
  • AboEl‐Fetouh, Y., O’Neill, N. T., Ranjbar, K., Hesaraki, S., Abboud, I., & Sobolewski, P. S. (2020). Climatological‐scale analysis of intensive and semi‐intensive aerosol parameters derived from AERONET retrievals over the Arctic. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 125, e2019JD031569.
  • Mölders, N. and Friberg, M. (2020) Using MAN and Coastal AERONET Measurements to Assess the Suitability of MODIS C6.1 Aerosol Optical Depth for Monitoring Changes from Increased Arctic Shipping. Open Journal of Air Pollution, 9, 77-104.


Eureka offshore oil platform provides continuous aerosols data recorded by CE318-TV12-OC (SeaPRISM) for NASA AERONET.

Keywords : Aerosols, photometer, water radiance, monitoring, ocean properties, ocean color, Earth observation, remote sensing, CAL/VAL, SeaPRISM.

February 9th 2022

Since 2002, more than 31 OC measurement sites have been integrated on the NASA AERONET OCEAN COLOR network through offshore fixed platforms and coastal platforms all around the world. Thanks to numerous collaborations between environmental sciences and energy industries such as discussed below, the number of Ocean Color measurement sites keeps growing.

In collaboration with University of Southern California (USC), the SeaPRISM site at the oil rig platform Eureka was installed in the Los Angeles Harbor and was initially operational in April 2011. CE318-TV12-OC (SeaPRISM) photometers  are part of the AERONET network of automated instruments designed to make automated measurements of aerosols around the world.

The SeaPRISM instrument has been modified to also view the ocean surface and measure ocean color remote sensing reflectance as well as the aerosol measurements. Data is currently flowing to NASA AERONET as well as NRL-SSC (The Naval Research Laboratory detachment at  Stennis Space Center (SSC), Mississippi) and Oregon State University (OSU) for matchups. Data has been collected routinely since June 2012 to date.

Continuity of the ocean color products between ocean color satellites is required for climate studies, as well as to enhance the operational products used in ecological monitoring and forecasting, such as accurately monitoring ocean water quality and determining changes along our coastlines. In addition, inter-satellite product comparisons are essential for data continuity into the future.

The JPSS (Joint Polar Satellite System) calibration and validation team has developed an infrastructure to evaluate VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) Ocean Environmental Data Records (EDRs): routinely nLw(λ) and chlorophyll are evaluated against existing satellites data measurements. Ocean color products are based on nLw( λ) from which specific products of chlorophyll, backscattering coefficients, absorption coefficients, and diffuse attenuation coefficients  are computed.

Therefore the accurate radiometric retrieval of the nLw( λ) is considered essential for the production of any ocean color product. A web-based with the VIIRS data matching the satellite data from Platform Eureka SeaPRISM was created in order to provide reliable data. The CE-318 of the oil platform Eureka helps to validate the satellite data provided by VIIRS on the JPSS.

Here are some results performed recently by the CE318-TV12-OC (SeaPRISM) located at Platform Eureka depicting the Normalized Water-Leaving Radiance.

Figure 1: Measurements performed at AERONET-OC Eureka oil platform, California – Normalized Water-Leaving Radiance [Lw]N.
Figure 2: CE318-TV12-OC (SeaPRISM) on site Eureka oil platform, California (USA).


Curtiss O. Davis, Nicholas Tufillaro, Jasmine Nahorniak, Burton Jones, and Robert Arnone “Evaluating VIIRS ocean color products for west coast and Hawaiian waters”, Proc. SPIE 8724, Ocean Sensing and Monitoring V, 87240J (3 June 2013);


The implantation of CE318-T photometers on offshore and coastal platforms constitutes a major turning point for atmospheric and ocean color applications.

Keywords : Aerosols, photometer, water radiance, monitoring, ocean properties, ocean color, Earth observation, remote sensing, CAL/VAL, SeaPRISM.

17th December 2021

The main substances that affect the color of the ocean include dissolved organic matter, living phytoplankton with chlorophyll pigments, and non-living particles like marine snow and mineral sediments. Ocean color data have a critical role in operational observation systems monitoring coastal eutrophication, harmful algal blooms, and sediment plumes. Scientists rely on satellite observations to monitor Ocean Color (OC) parameters, such as chlorophyll a concentration (Chla) and inherent optical properties of water (IOP), to better understand the role of the ocean in the Earth’s climate.

However, the current satellite measurement systems can provide only coarse spatial resolution, with relevant lack of data.

Thus, AERONET Ocean Color saw the light of day in 2002. This new component of AERONET (NASA AErosol RObotic NETwork) aims at providing more data concerning satellites measurements as there is a lack of insights in the monitoring of marine aerosols and water radiance. Since 2002, more than 31 OC measurement sites have been integrated on the network through offshore fixed platforms and coastal platforms all around the world.

Its particularity is that the measurements are taken from the radiance emerging from the sea using CE318-TV12-OC (SeaPRISM) Cimel photometers. By measuring the water radiance from the sea with instruments installed on coastal/offshore platforms or boats, Cimel improves the accuracy of satellites measurements. AERONET decided in 2015, after full validation, to accept only the CE318-T for new photometers entering the network. Below is a representative drawing of the measurement principle of the CE318-TV12-OC (SeaPRISM) photometer:

Figure 1: Measurement principle of the Cimel CE318-TV12-OC (SeaPRISM).

Many missions are conducted by AERONET-OC to collect ocean color data and measurements. Below, one of these campaigns conducted on an offshore platform (AAOT) in the Adriatic Sea.

Figure 2: AERONET OC site located in the Acqua Alta Oceanographic Tower (AAOT) in the Gulf of Venice in the Northern Adriatic Sea in July 2018.

Figure 3: Measurements performed at AERONET-OC AAOT – Scatterplot of LIOP WN(λ) versus LChla WN(λ).

Click Here to read the article!

Citation: Zibordi, Giuseppe, Brent N. Holben, Marco Talone, Davide D’Alimonte, Ilya Slutsker, David M. Giles, and Mikhail G. Sorokin. «Advances in the Ocean Color Component of the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET-OC)”, Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology 38, 4 (2021): 725-746, accessed Sep 17, 2021,


Volcano eruption of Mount Aso in Japan – A peak of AOD due to volcanic ashes

Keywords : Photometer, Aerosols Optical Depth, Atmosphere, volcanic eruption, Ashes.

17th November 2021

The volcano of Mount Aso located in the south of the Japanese archipelago on the island of Kyushu erupted this Wednesday, October 20, releasing volcanic ashes up to 3,5 kilometers in the atmosphere during the strongest eruption time.

The volcano had not been active since 2016, local authorities are advising residents to remain vigilant of volcanic ashes and gases on the leeward side of the Nakadake crater. As a matter of fact, the gas and projectiles created a cloud that is denser than the surrounding air and which is an extremely hot ash plume due to the turbulence between the flow and the overlying air.

One of the Cimel CE318-T photometer is currently providing atmospheric aerosols measurements near the volcano eruption. Indeed, the NASA AERONET site based on the offshore platform of Ariake observation tower located in Ariake Sea in Japan, is about 5 kilometers from the coast of Saga city in Ariake Sea.

Figure 1: Google Earth satellite image showing the position of the NASA AERONET Ariake Tower site in relation to the Mount Aso volcano in Kyushu Island (Japan).

Figure 2: Data provided by the Cimel photometer in the Ariake Tower operated by Saga University, depicting Aerosols Optical Depth in the atmosphere.

We have collected data recorded by the Cimel CE318 photometer which measures the Aerosols Optical Depth (AOD) in the atmosphere. We note a peak of the AOD on October 21, a day after the volcanic eruption.

With the addition of Cimel CE376 LiDAR, it would be possible to obtain more high added value parameters such as the characterization, location and the extinction and backscatter profile of mass concentration of this kind of ash aerosols in the atmosphere.

See more on our AAMS solution which consists in the synergy between our LiDARs and our photometers.


La Palma eruption (Canary Islands) – volcanic plumes tracking by our LiDARs

Keywords : LiDARs, Aerosols, Atmosphere, La Palma, Cumbre Vieja volcano, CE376.

6th October 2021

The Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma in the Canary Islands erupted on 19th September for the first time since 1971 resulting in large lava flows and evacuations.

Due to the volcanic eruption, nearly 10 000 tons of sulfur dioxide are released in the atmosphere every day. The risks generated are acid rain and deterioration of air quality which can lead to respiratory problems.

In a few words, this phenomenon is due to the fact that the lava of the volcano which reaches 1000°C meets the sea water which is at around 20°C. Therefore, the sodium chloride contained in the sea breaks down the water into oxygen and hydrogen. However, when hydrogen meets chlorine, they turn into hydrochloric acid which is an extremely dangerous gas.

There are many consequences such as the impact on the air quality which directly concerns the surrounding populations who breathe a toxic smoke harmful for their health.

Air traffic is also strongly impacted as all the flights departing from the island have been cancelled. These disturbances are also due to the lack of instruments measuring aerosols (such as LiDARs) to accurately identify the location of the volcanic ash as well as its characteristics and concentration.

Our CE376 LiDARs in AEMET (Izaña) is tracking plumes of the volcanic ash from the volcanic eruption on La Palma and here are some results to illustrate it.

Figure 1: Quicklook revealing the volcano plumes as captured on 24 September by AEMET in Izaña.

The volcano is propelling air into the atmosphere which meets a thermal inversion – a reversal of the normal behavior of temperature in the troposphere where a layer of hot air sits above a layer of cooler air.

Figure 2: Picture by Virgilio Carreño (Izaña Atmospheric research center, AEMET) showing the interaction of the gas and ash plume of the eruptive column leaving the volcano with the altitude thermal inversion layer of the atmosphere through which the Sahara desert dust transcends.

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:


New joint laboratory “AGORA-LAB”

Keywords : Aerosols, Photometer, LiDAR, AGORA-LAB, Atmosphere

On 18 May 2021, the CNRS published its innovation letter highlighting the joint laboratory between Cimel and the LOA (Laboratoire d’optique atmosphérique) called «  AGORA-LAB »

This joint laboratory will allow the development of a multi-year research programme with the main objective of further improving photometric and LiDAR technics for aerosol characterization, providing synergies between instruments, and developing autonomous mobile measurement systems such as the Mobile Aerosol Monitoring Solutions (M-AAMS) for air quality and climate science to obtain aerosol measurements as below:

Figure 1: Spatial variability in vertical aerosol distribution, optical thickness (AOD), and surface aerosol concentration (Popovici et al., 2018).

Some campaigns have already been deployed, such as MAP-IO campaign with the installation of a Cimel photometer on board of the Marion Dufresne ship, to carry out measurements during the trip, whilst automatically processing data.

Other mobile platforms in the joint laboratory program will be installed on airplanes like for the SAFIRE project, but also on trains, as part of the Equipex Obs4Clim, to measure different types of aerosols.

The LOA studies the various components of the atmosphere, mainly clouds, aerosols and certain gases, which thus play a major role in the Earth’s energy balance. The laboratory has internationally recognized expertise in remote sensing, covering a wide spectral range from the ultraviolet and solar domains to thermal infrared and millimeter waves. The LOA will be the spokesperson for the joint laboratory AGORA-LAB to deploy the projects planned by the two entities.

As for CIMEL, we will contribute to AGORA-LAB by putting forwards its assets, namely:

  • Our design and model-making laboratory.
  • Our characterization and functional tests in electronics.
  • New means of optical and mechanical design and prototyping.
  • A laboratory for adjustment and testing of lidar in our factory.

Click here to read the full CNRS innovation letter.


  • Philippe Goloub / Researcher at the Laboratory of Atmospheric Optics /
  • Stephane Victori / Scientific Director, Cimel /

MSc Atmospheric Environment

MSc Atmospheric Environment: international master degree

A 2-years program graduating a Master of Science in physics or chemistry of the atmosphere, at the highest level aiming to give intendants a strong background in:

  • Physical and chemical properties of the atmosphere from the molecular to the global scale,
  • Analytical sciences applied to airborne environment,
  • Recent research activities on air pollution and climate changes.

The international Master  « Atmospheric Sciences » is supported by the french Laboratory of Excellence CaPPA which involves large complementary research projects gathering together partner teams with strong scientific qualifications. It leads top-level research activities thanks to the diversity of researchers’ disciplines and its promising research topics.

Training is dedicated to students in physics and chemistry having validated 4 years of study (Master 1st year / Bachelor / 240 ECTS-credits), wishing to follow a specialization in atmospheric sciences to get a strong background in theory and practical works.

A visit to every laboratory involved in the Labex CaPPA is organized, helping students to identify the research topic they want to specialize in.

Strengths of the training
  • Students are immersed in an international environment and all courses are delivered in English.
  • Students from more than 14 nationalities attended to our master since 2013.
  • A master degree in a stimulating scientific environment within the Graduate Program “Science for a Changing Planet“.

Additional documents:
Download the leaflet
MSc presentation (pdf)

From September 2021, this program replaces the former M2 Atmospheric Environment.

You can also find more details about the program on the website: