Intergovernmental GR-RO research Programme

Air Quality assessment and study of transport processes along the axis Athens-Aegean sea (Greece) and Bucharest (Romania) using lidar techniques


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National Technical University of Athens (NTUA)

The NTUA lidar group has an important experience and know-how in the following areas:

  1. optical design of the lidar system

  2. development of new lidar systems

  3. design and development of software for the real time aquisition and analysis of the lidar signals

  4. statistical analysis of aerosol data and development of a statistical database of the tropospheric aerosols.

Short history

National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) (at the Laboratory of Laser Remote Sensing of the Environment), the first aerosol lidar system was developed on 1999, for the observation of the aerosol vertical distribution (optical properties such as the backscatter coefficient) at 355 and 532 nm. At the end of 2000, the lidar system of NTUA was upgraded (Raman channel at 387 nm) in order to provide simultaneously the vertical distribution of the backscatter and extinction coefficient of the aerosols at 355 and 532 nm, using the inversions techniques of the lidar signal based on the Klett and Raman theories. Later on, during 2005 the lidar system of NTUA was upgraded to a 6-wavelength Raman lidar system able to perform independent and simultaneous measurements of the vertical profiles of the aerosol backscatter coefficient at three wavelengths (355, 532 and 1064 nm), of the aerosol extinction coefficients at 387 and 607 nm (from 355 and 532nm, respectively) and those of the water vapor mixing ratio in the troposphere (407 nm channel). Finally, during 2010 a mobile depolarization lidar was purchased by NTUA to discriminate the form of aerosols (spherical/non spherical). The Raman-lidar system of NTUA was quality assured by performing direct intercomparisons, both at hardware and software level in the frame of the EARLINET and EARLINET-ASOS projects.

More than 5000 vertical profiles of the aerosol optical properties from ground up to 5 km height, under various meteorological conditions, have been recorded since 2000 by the NTUA’s lidar system. In Fig. 4 a typical diurnal evolution of the aerosol vertical distribution over Athens during a Saharan dust event is presented. A relevant paper on the statistical analysis of the lidar measurements during Saharan dust events over the European content within EARLINET is presented by Papayannis et al. [2008].

National Institute of R&D for Optoelectronics (INOE)

INOE was established 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 in this project, has as a long-term mission the strengthening of the research and technological development capacities and setting-up of strategic partnerships with excellent research entities worldwide in order to produce and manage information about the environment according to global observation strategies. The efforts are focused on two main objectives:

  1. development and improvement of investigation methods dedicated to environmental assessment and control
  2. experimental and theoretical research on atmospheric compounds' microphysics, radiative forcing, air quality and climatology, emphasizing short-lived species, in the frame of European and global networks

Short history

INOEs group history started in 2001, when the first lidar system was installed in Romania, at our institute. First active remote sensing results were published by INOEs team in 2005 and the first PhD thesis in this field was earned in 2006 by Mrs. Doina Nicolae.

Since 2001, the researchers involved in this proposal have been working in more than 26 national projects within the Environment framework, and several international projects: 1 FP6 (EARLINET-ASOS), 3 FP7 (DELICE, DELICAT, ACTRIS), 1 ECO-NET, 1 ACCENT, 1 EUREKA (EUREKA-LAPMI), 3 intergovernmental and 4 bilateral projects. We are member of ERLINET, AERONET, MWRNET and we offer trans-national access to RADO infrastructure as an ACTRIS partner. Up to now, we have published 74 scientific papers in international journals, 32 of them in peer reviews. Our work is devoted to technological improvement of remote sensing instruments and advancing research on air quality and climate change, but we also play a key role in developing remote sensing capacities (instruments and human resources) in our country, by setting-up the Romanian Lidar Network based on a Romanian lidar prototype. We are the promoter of the Romanian Atmospheric Observatory, a 2.87 mil EUR project finalized this year with the support of Norway Grants.