Workpackage 3

Aerosol observations: instrumentation, intensive field campaigns, monitoring from ground-based networks and satellites.

Leader Laboratories : LPCA, SAGE, ICARE

Participants : LASIR, LOA


Scientific objectives


Material and methods

Ongoing studies and results

Key publications (soon available)

Scientific objectives

Introduce and operate instruments and tools in order to achieve aerosols, gas and to some extent, clouds characterization. The work package aims at providing atmospheric variables thanks to both pre-existing instrumentations and innovating technologies. Synergy between observations performed at different spatial scales and different techniques as well as advanced methodologies to combine multi-source data are developped. Related services, database and processing facilities, are managed by ICARE.

Illustration : Remote sensing from satellite, from airplane, from the ground (top). In situ monitoring and samples are analyzed in laboratory (bottom)


For several decades, remote-sensing instruments operating either in passive mode (e.g. radiometer) or active mode (e.g. lidar) mostly measured total intensity of light scattered by the atmosphere- surface system. The results of such observing systems are extremely valuable and yield first assessment of aerosol properties. For instance, time series of column-integrated aerosol provided the first climatology  of the standard aerosol properties. Simultaneously, our vision of the aerosol spatial distribution and temporal variation is enabled by satellite observations offering global coverage. However, the number of aerosol properties that can be assessed from space is limited by instrumentation capabilities and by present  state-of-the-art inverse methods currently used for interpreting the diversity of available observations. The main objectives of this WP are to build/operate innovative systems both on instrumental and methodological sides and operate them in a routine manner

Materials and methods

Instrumentations dedicated to Remote Sensing observations

  • Doppler LIDAR
  • Multi-wavelength Raman LIDAR (LILAS) 
  • Sun and Lunar Photometers
  • Airborne sun-photometer (PLASMA)
  • Radiative flux measurements
  • IRT radiometer

Instrumentations dedicated to in situ measurements

  • PTR-ToFMS and HR-ToF-AMS
  • Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM)
  • Nephelometer and aethalometer
  • Particle size distribution (GRIMM)
  • Optical Particle Counter

Data processing

Field experiment

  • Participation to the ChArMeX (Chemistry-Aerosol Mediterranean Experiment) campaign in Corsica (February 2012 – August 2013)
  • Organization of the SHADOW (Study of Saharan Dust Over West Africa) experiment in Sénégal (March 2015 – January 2016)
  • Regional observations at Lille, Dunkerque and Douai
  • Régional observation with the CaPPA Mobile system

Ongoing studies and Results

  • Field campaigns dedicated to Particle Matter (PM) monitoring and aerosol chemical composition using combined measurements to study transport and dispersion of aerosol within a few km range around emissions.
  • Analysis of the data collected during SHADOW
  • Evaluation and inversion of first LILAS (Raman-Lidar remote sensing aerosols/water vapor) dataset and deployment during the SHADOW campaign.
  • New-instrumentation : remote sensing of both aerosol/gas integrated columns using innovating portable FTIR setup. This instrument has been designed to characterize several atmospheric variables (meteorology, climate and air quality).
  • New-instrumentation : cavity-enhanced aerosol albedometer for retrieving simultaneously aerosol extinction and scattering coefficients (proposal selected by ANR in 2016).
  • New-instrumentation : Mobile system (CaPPA-mobile) to collect remote sensing  and some in situ data at regional scale.

Illustration: The 2013-2014 field campaign in Dunkerque : Time series of total PM mass concentrations observed for various size fractions around the sampling site (top) and chemical speciation of non-refractory submicron particles measured by the ACSM (bottom)

Illustration: Vertical profiles of aerosol absorption coefficient (ABS) and extinction-to-backscatter ratio (LR) obtained from LILAS/sunphotometer joint inversion during SHADOW-2 campaign for a dust (a) and dust+smoke mixture (b).

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