TransNational Access to the AERONET-EUROPE Calibration Service

As part of the transnational access (TNA) activity, the AERONET-EUROPE Calibration Service offers the whole scientific community the use of a unique sun photometer facility for calibration and maintenance currently operational in the frame of AERONET. This TNA will handle calibration of AERONET and possible future AERONET sun-photometers, complementing the NASA calibration center in the USA.

The AERONET-EUROPE Calibration & Maintenance Center is a multi-site European infrastructure. AERONET (AERosol RObotic Network) is a ground-based standardized automatic sun/sky-photometer network devoted to the characterization and monitoring of aerosol properties as well as water vapour water content. To enable AERONET network expansion, alternative calibration centers have been developped in Europe under the leadership of France, primarily by CNRS-LOA, Lille (PHOTONS national observatory) as well as in Spain by GOA, Valladolid and AEMET (CSIC) at Izaña Observatory, Tenerife Island.

  • CNRS-LOA (Laboratoire d'Optique Atmosphérique)
    The LOA installations for calibration are composed of indoor and outdoor platforms, located in Lille and Carpentras. The indoor platforms include a dark room for calibration relying on NASA-NIST traceable integrating spheres, polarized light sources, solar-simulator, maintenance and repair room, spectrometer for filters characterization, thermal chamber, and computers linked to AERONET/NASA database for calibration coefficients computation and data reprocessing. Two outdoor facilities were developped. The first outdoor plateform, located on the roof of LOA, is a special 100 m2 horizon-free platform, designed for functionnal tests (capacity: 10 sun photometers). Calibration transfer to field instruments relies on a complementary horizon-free outdoor platform located in the Carpentras Meteofrance center (100 m a.s.l) located in the South of France. Since 2010 LOA has a permanent capability to calibrate simultaneously 8 field instruments thanks to 2 reference instruments located at the Carpentras site.
  • GOA-UVA (Group of Atmospheric Optics of the University of Valladolid)
    The GOA installation is composed of one outdoor horizon-free platform located at Autilla (870 m a.s.l.; 40 km from Valladolid university) enabling the calibration transfer simultaneously for 4 field instruments thanks to two reference instruments. One indoor lab equiped with one integrating sphere plus a maintenance space at GOA. A computer is linked to AERONET/NASA database for calibration coefficients computation and data reprocessing. GOA receives every 3 months a new set of 2 reference instruments calibrated at Izaña by LOA.
  • CSIC-IZANA (Izaña Atmospheric Research Centre-CIAI)
    The Izaña platform (2400 m a.s.l) is composed of a set of 6 reference instruments continuously in operation and available for the needs on the LOA and GOA installations. These reference instruments are recalibrated every 3 months in order to preserve measurements accuracy. The site is similar the NASA site located in Hawaï onMauna Loa Island.
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