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...and beyond EUSAAR?

After 5 years, EUSAAR will come to an end on 31 March 2011. The EU funded project has been very successful in establishing a unique network of research infrastructures in Europe for integrating and harmonizing measurements of aerosol properties and for diffusing high quality aerosol products to the scientific community. EUSAAR will be succeeded by ACTRIS, in a larger context and with an enlarged consortium of 28 partners:

ACTRIS (Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research InfraStructure Network) is a European Project aiming at integrating European ground-based stations equipped with advanced atmospheric probing instrumentation for aerosols, clouds, and short-lived gas-phase species. ACTRIS will have the essential role to support building of new knowledge as well as policy issues on climate change, air quality, and long-range transport of pollutants.

ACTRIS is building the next generation of the ground-based component of the EU observing system by integrating three existing research infrastructures EUSAAR, EARLINET, CLOUDNET, and a new trace gas network component into a single coordinated framework. ACTRIS is funded within the EC 7th Framework Programme under "Research Infrastructures for Atmospheric Research" and will start on April 1, 2011 for a period of 4 years.

The main objectives of ACTRIS are:

  • To provide long-term observational data and to substantially increase the number of high-quality data relevant to climate and air quality research on the regional scale produced with standardized or comparable procedures throughout the network.

  • To provide a coordinated framework to support transnational access to European advanced infrastructures for atmospheric research strengthening high-quality collaboration in and outside the EU and access to high-quality information and services for the user communities (research, Environmental protection agencies, etc.).

  • To develop new integration tools to fully exploit the use of multiple atmospheric techniques at ground-based stations, in particular for the calibration/validation/integration of satellite sensors and for the improvement of the parameterizations used in global and regional scale climate and air quality models. ACTRIS aims at providing time series of climate and air quality related variables not directly measured which are presently not available through existing data centers.

  • To enhance training of new scientists and new users in particular students, young scientists, and scientists from eastern European and non-EU developing countries in the field of atmospheric observation.

  • To promote the development of new technologies for atmospheric observation of aerosols, clouds and trace gases through close partnership with EU companies. ACTRIS aims at contributing to more than 4 new operating standards for atmospheric monitoring by the end of the project.

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