TNA11: Access to RADO

WP Leader:  Doina Nicoleta Nicolae


Name of the infrastructure: Romanian Atmospheric research 3D Observatory (RADO)
Location (town, country): Magurele, Ilfov, Romania
Web site address:
Legal name of organisation operating the infrastructure: National Institute of Research&Development for Optoelectronics
Location of organisation (town, country): Magurele, Ilfov, Romania
Annual operating costs (excl. investment costs) of the infrastructure (€): 210.000

Description of the infrastructure:
The National Institute of Research & Development for Optoelectronics was establish in 1996 and is involved in fundamental and applicative research in optoelectronics, analytical chemistry, and high pressure physics. The Laser Remote Sensing Department, which will be directly involved into ACTRIS (, has as long-term mission the strengthening of the research and technological development capacities and setting-up of strategic partnerships with excellent research entities in UE and in the world in order to produce and manage information about the environment conform to global observation strategies. The efforts of a 12 department members are focus on two main objectives: development and improvement of investigation methods dedicated to environmental assessment; experimental and theoretical research of aerosol microphysics, clear-sky direct aerosol radiative forcing and aerosols' influence on optical properties of clouds for climatologic studies in the frame of EARLINET (European Aerosol Research Lidar NETwork) and AERONET (Aerosol Robotic Network). Laser Remote Sensing Department at INOE 2000 is unique not only in Romania but also in the East of Europe.

The main infrastructure currently available in the Laser Remote Sensing Department:
• a multi-wavelength Raman lidar (RALI) operating in the frame of EARLINET - provides vertical profiles of aerosol optical parameters up to 15 Km high. It is performing systematic measurements three times per week accordingly to the EARLINET schedule and during international experiments or special atmospheric events;
• an ozone lidar - provides vertical profiles of tropospheric ozone & aerosols up to 12 Km high, with a detection limit of 1ppb in clean air.
• an eye-safe scanning mobile UV mini-lidar - provides vertical profiles of aerosol’s optical properties up to 5 Km high, with an emphasis on PBL;
• a mobile laboratory for field campaigns;
• 7-channels sunphotometer operating in the frame of the AERONET;
• an aerosol mass spectrometer able to perform continuous monitoring of the complete mass spectrum (1-400 amu), providing real-time size resolved composition analysis of particulate matter;
• a microwave radiometer that ensure accurate, cost-effective temperature, humidity and cloud liquid profiling at any location in all weather conditions;
• 33-gaseous compounds DOAS (Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy) system - for pollutant gas monitoring and point monitors for O3, SO2, NOx and HC;
• optical particle and gravimetric counter for physical characterization of particulate matter (TSP, PM10, PM2.5 or PM1);
• a particle size spectrometer for aerosol particle size distribution measurements;
• a three color integrating nephelometer measuring the scattering coefficient of atmospheric aerosols at three wavelengths: 450 nm, 550 nm and 700 nm;
• two meteorological stations for temperature, pressure, relative humidity, wind speed and wind direction.

Services currently offered by the infrastructure:
Laser Remote Sensing Department is the first atmospheric facility in Romania for research and monitoring of atmospheric processes and compounds in the Planetary Boundary Layer and Free Troposphere using remote sensing techniques. Experimental and theoretical research for atmospheric composition and air quality assessment, including impact on climate and climate variability can be done using existing facility. The Laser Remote Sensing Department’s capacities could be used in a multitude of applications. Some of these are already expressed as research interests from Romanian scientists: monitoring of greenhouse gases and aerosols; measurement campaigns with point monitors and remote sensing systems; atmospheric (air quality) data collection and transfer, including processing, modeling and forecast; identify and quantify the sources and sinks of atmospheric pollutants in order to better understand the interactions between tropospheric trace gases and aerosols that control urban air quality; investigation on chemical and physical processes that control the mid-latitude tropospheric ozone budget; impact studies on radiative processes in the atmosphere leading to climate change; physical properties and dynamics of the aerosol system in order to understand its effects on atmospheric energetic budget.
The main advantage of INOE comparing with existing infrastructures in other research institute and universities consists in the exploitation of the best available technologies, such as: new generation lidars, sensors and sunphotomers; new innovative ground-based imaging cameras for measuring boundary layer gases and aerosols; state-of-the art local and mesoscale air pollution models; satellite imagery, which will be put at the service of best scientists, brightest students and civil society in the same time.

Description of work

Modality of access under this project:
Location of the infrastructure is in Magurele (6Km far from Bucharest), INOE's location. Work program is 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, but flexible. Measurements are performed continuously (for automatic instruments) and based on a specific schedule (for lidars), during the week-ends and nights also, depending on the project. Therefore, the access to the infrastructure is always possible, based on an access card.
Following the selection procedures performed by the ACTRIS TNA committee, permission to use the facility will be granted immediately. Visitors will be able to use the instruments and data in order to conduct specific research, under the guidance of at least one scientist from INOE. Access to instruments, servers, terminals, and software (described in previous paragraphs) will be complemented by a close scientific collaboration with local team. A flexible schedule for the use of the infrastructure will be drawn from the stage of planned visit together with the candidate and the coordinator of the infrastructure, in order to avoid dead time and overlapping.
Data collected during this period will be free for use in publications, and accessible via on-site and internet means, even after the end of the visit. The INOE’s scientists are open for more complex studies to all scientists (young or senior) who are willing to work with the data, to correlate them and make complex analysis based on data collected at all stations.

Support offered under this project:
At RADO, apart from the complex infrastructure available for a large variety of applications, visitors will benefit from excellent working conditions, flexible program and a number of complementary activities, such as demonstration and education, seminars and team meetings.
Scientific and technical support will be offered, case-by-case, by the person responsible with a certain task: instrument operation, data processing, data analysis and correlation. Short application-targeted training will be provided at the beginning of each visit. Additionally, depending on the interests raised during the visit, scientists may be invited to participate to regular measurements or field campaigns, to attend to calibration / testing / maintenance procedures, or to visit other laboratories or lidar stations in Romania.
Each visitor will have direct access to one dedicated computer with internet access, a desk space, remote sensing laboratories, and other institutional facilities. Accommodation can be arranged at request either in the hotel nearby the institute, either at one of the University Guesthouse, in Bucharest. The average duration of one visit for scientists is estimated at three weeks.
Up to now, the facility - which is quite new - was open to PhD programs inside the University of Bucharest (based on preliminary agreements) and to several other Universities in Romania with educational / training purposes.

Outreach of new users:
Several methods for the implementation of the publicity plan were chosen so far in order to attract potential new users, although others may be used as well, depending on the necessities and opportunities. First of all the TNA access opportunities will be advertized on the website of the Laser Remote Sensing Department's web site ( to provide potential new users with timely, comprehensive information on the facilities available as well as the current research activities. The website is constantly updated with relevant information about department and about the status of air quality measurement. Second, the opportunities will be promoted during conferences and meetings in Romania and abroad, as well as by use of leaflets and brochures presented at exhibitions, workshops and scientific events. Third, we will advertise the facility in terms of laboratories but also applications, using the National Focal Point in Romania and the related ERA-NET. This channel will ensure a deep dissemination not only at national level, but also in other European and associated countries.
A very low degree of understanding is currently available about the aerosol vertical distribution, the climatology and air mass modification over South-Eastern part of Europe and especially over the Balkan area. An important argument in favor of the INOE facility is the lack of experimental facilities dedicated to atmospheric research in this region. In fact, the ground-based instruments involved in this project are the most advanced ones. We are mainly targeting users from Eastern Europe, which are close as education and mentality with Romanians (sharing for a long period of time the same educational practices and organizational structures). In fact, we already had several requests to host scientists for short-term grants, but we were unable to offer them full support up to now (University of Warsaw, University of Pecs, University of Szeged). New collaborations are in course with Institute of Physics from Belgrade (Serbia) and Air Quality Research and Applications Unit at the
Meteorological and Hydrological Service of Croatia.

Review procedure under this project:
The selection of users will be performed by a single TNA selection panel and is described under the general ACTRIS procedure in section 2.1.6.

Unit of Access:
One unit of access corresponds to 1 full research person-working day (rwd) by a user accessing the infrastructure (the minimum acceptable access is half a day). The access includes the use of the general infrastructure, on-site logistic support by the infrastructure staff, as well as technical and scientific support related to the use of the facility and data analysis. A confirmation of visit indicating the total quantity of access per user, countersigned by the access provider, is provided after each access.

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