SA1: Access to observations and service products of the infrastructure

WP Leader: Cathrine Lund Myhre


Name of the infrastructure: ACTRIS Data Centre
Location (town, country): The main structure and installations of the ACTRIS Data Centre are located at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Kjeller, Norway (NILU). The other installations are in Hamburg, Germany (MPG), and in Reading, United Kingdom (UREAD).
Web site address:
Legal name of organisation operating the infrastructure: Norwegian Institute for Air Research
Location of organisation (town, country): Kjeller, Norway
Annual operating costs (excl. investment costs) of the infrastructure (€): 1.128.855
(1.088.966 € for NILU, 25.680 € for UREAD, 14.210 € for MPG)

Description of the infrastructure:
The overall goal is to provide scientists and other user groups with access to the ACTRIS infrastructure data. ACTRIS SA1 will support and develop a long term sustainable data centre, giving free and open access to all data resulting from the activities of the infrastructure network, complemented with data from other relevant networks. Furthermore, the service activity will make available tools and applications to facilitate the use of network data for the scientific community and other user communities.
The three core services of ACTRIS SA1 include:
I. Provide free access to all network data through a joint infrastructure data portal: The data web portal will provide the users with an easily accessible interface to level 1 and level 2 data from the ACTRIS infrastructure network and all European sites included in the EMEP, GAW, EUSAAR, EARLINET, Cloudnet, and NDACC networks.
II. Support scientists in data reporting (systematic submission of observation data from the research stations to the data center, including format and data quality aspects) and disseminating their observations: Organise and maintain the ACTRIS data in a long-term sustainable system. A core objective of SA1 is to consolidate the reporting of network observation data to the data centre and organise measurement data and tools in such a way that their continuation is ensured beyond the present project period.
III. Provide interface towards external user communities: Develop and implement tools and applications to improve and facilitate the use of atmospheric observations for a broad scientific community. There will be a particular focus on applications combining atmospheric variables/parameters of high importance for the assessment of climate change and (chemical) weather forecast.
ACTRIS SA1 builds on infrastructures developed during previous EU projects. During the FP6 project EUSAAR the CLRTAP-EMEP database EBAS hosted by NILU was extended to accommodate the data on aerosol microphysical, optical, and chemical properties from all EUSAAR sites in traceable way with homogeneous quality assurance. The FP5 project Cloudnet created the first European database of data from research grade radars, lidars, and wind profilers for cloud research, as well as model results from numerical weather prediction for comparison. The EARLINET network, funded during FP5 and FP6, set up the first European network of advanced aerosol lidars. The EARLINET database contains currently over 22000 datasets of multi-wavelength aerosol backscatter, extinction, and depolarisation profiles.
The ACTRIS data centre comprises these three data centres, which will continue collecting and providing their data on an open access basis throughout the whole project to the scientific community, policy makers, as well as the general public. The portal will also provide the main data interface towards external systems following the principles and requirements defined under initiatives such as SEIS, INSPIRE, WIS and GEOSS.

Description of work

Modality of access under this project:
All access to the data will be made through the ACTRIS data centre portal. All level 1 and 2 data in the ACTRIS data centre will be made freely available. Free and open access means unrestricted access at no cost for all interested individuals outside or inside of the project, but a registration and/or acceptance of specific network data policies may be required. The access will be recorded trough monthly or quarterly user statistics. Also the number of new data sets included from the ACTRIS Network will be documented as a part of the review procedure.

Support offered under this project:
The overall goal is to provide scientists and other user groups with free access to atmospheric observational data, and provide mature products for analysis of atmospheric compositional change.
The main support of the proposed service activity is to ensure
• Free and open access to the project data portal and one-stop-shop of atmospheric observations
• Free and open access to multiple data bases through a joint data portal
• Free and open access to new quality ensured and on-time ACTRIS data data and service products continually developed during the project
Free and open access to the project data portal and the one-stop-shop of atmospheric observations:
Management and organization of the one-stop-shop with access to level 1 and level 2 data from the project is the scientific core support offered within SA1. It is an unambiguous goal of the project that all the network data will be available for the project participants as well as for a broad user community, thus this support benefits all possible users.
Free and open access to multiple data bases through a joint data portal: Trough the ACTRIS data centre all data from the networks EMEP, EUSAAR, EARLINET, CloudNet, and GAW-AEROSOL will be included in addition to the new data established and obtained during the project. All data from the various networks will be searchable across the respective data bases through the ACTRIS data portal. The data centre developed in GEOmon and the work done in EUSAAR, EARLINET-ASOS and Cloudnet will be the starting point for the ACTRIS data centre.
Full advantage of the effort and achievements in these projects will be taken. The data portal structure will be parallel to the portal developed in GEOmon which is an umbrella-type of system/catalogue providing a link to several data bases.
The establishment of the data portal link to the cloud profile data base is not a part of GEOmon and requires definition of the standardized protocol for exchange of metadata and data in Cloudnet. Technical support from SA1 will be offered to UREAD to complete this functionality and include the Cloudnet data in the integrated portal.
Free and open access to new quality ensured and on-time ACTRIS data centre and service products continually developed during the project: The data center will take an active role in ensuring a reliable, effective and on-time delivery of ACTRIS data to the data bases EARLINET, EBAS, Cloudnet. The work will be built upon the existing protocols for formatting and submission of aerosol data that have been defined in EUSAAR, and which will further be supplemented with specification for new instrumentation and methods established in NA3, NA4, NA5, JRA2, JRA3. Well defined reporting templates and easily available information on the data reporting will contribute to the effective and self running system. The individual data providers are responsible for the data delivery to the data centre, but the data centre will, to a certain level, provide technical and scientific support to partners and contributing networks in preparing and submitting data in the required formats. Regular participations in meetings and interaction with partners and scientists are required to support users and jointly develop the protocols required for the effective data flow.
The definition of new tools and applications is defined in NA6. Within the frame of the financial limitations scientific and technical support will be offered to develop and implement the new applications in the data centre (as described in NA6, task 2-5) and make the applications available to all users.

Outreach of new users:
One central approach is to participate in conferences and user meetings, both scientific meetings and meetings with stakeholders to demonstrate the use and possibilities of the data centre. Participation in the e.g. EMEP Task Forces (Measurement and modelling, Intercontinental Transport) and AEROCOM workshops is considered important to highlight and demonstrate the data centre, and for the development of useful applications for air quality and climate change research and mitigation communities. Another approach is to actively involve end-users by arranging small dedicated meetings focusing on particularly important issues, and follow up by involving user communities as external boards for the development of the tools and data centre functionality. The
promotion of the ACTRIS Service Centre will furthermore be made through the corresponding partner websites.

Review procedure under this project:
The data centre will be reviewed regularly by an assessment panel as described under section 2.1.6.

Access Counter Unit:
The Access Counter Unit corresponds to the selection of one data set for download from the database.

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