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In-service aircraft for a global observing system - European research infrastructure

Activity Code: INFRA-2007-2.2-01
Coordinator: Andreas Volz-Thomas, Forschungszentrum Jülich


IAGOS-ERI is one of the new European Research Infrastructures on the ESFRI Roadmap 2006.
It will establish and operate a distributed infrastructure for longterm observations of atmospheric composition, aerosol and cloud particles on a global scale from a fleet of initially 10-20 longrange in-service aircraft of internationally operating airlines.  

Why? – The science
Global climate change represents arguably the most serious environmental issue facing mankind today, with implications for global political stability and the global economy. Reliable predictions of the future climate using climate models are central and fundamental requirements for determining future mitigation strategies. The use of commercial aircraft allows the collection of highly relevant observations on a scale and in numbers impossible to achieve using research aircraft, and where other measurement methods (e.g., satellites) have technical limitations.

How? – The technical approach
IAGOS-ERI deploys newly developed high-tech instruments for regular in-situ measurements of atmospheric chemical species (O3, CO, CO2, NOy, NOx, H2O), aerosols and cloud particles. The data will be available in near real time to weather services and GMES service centres. 

Who? – The consortium
IAGOS-ERI builds on the scientific and technological experience gained within the research projects MOZAIC (Measurement of Ozone and Water Vapour on Airbus in-service Aircraft), which was funded by the EC between 1993 and 2004 under FP 4 and FP 5, and CARIBIC (Civil Aircraft for the Regular nvestigation of the Atmosphere Based on an Instrument Container). IAGOS-ERI was initiated by FZJ, CNRS, Meteo France, and Airbus, together with a growing community of research institutions and airlines.          

For whom? – The users
IAGOS-ERI will provide a data base for users in science and policy, including near realtime data provision for weather prediction and air quality forecasting. It will provide data for climate models, including those used in the GMES Atmospheric Service Service, and the carbon cycle models used for the verification of CO2 emissions and Kyoto monitoring.

Project Details:

Start Date: 01.09.2008
End Date: 31.08.2012
EU Contribution: 3.3 Mio. Euro
Total Costs: 4.34 Mio. Euro
Funding Scheme: Integrating activities / e-infrastructures / preparatory phase
Administrative Contact Person: Dr. Klaus Hoppstock, k.hoppstock@fz-juelich.de
Andreas Volz-Thomas, a.volz-thomas@fz-juelich.de
Project Website:http://www.iagos.org/


  • Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany
  • Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France
  • Météo France, France
  • University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • University of Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Germany
  • Airbus Operations SAS, France
  • British Airways plc, United Kingdom
  • Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie,  Germany
  • Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Germany
  • enviscope GmbH,  Germany
  • Leibniz-Institut für Troposphärenforschung e.V., Germany
  • World Meteorological Organization, Switzerland
  • Natural Environment Research Council, United Kingdom
  • Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, France