The project is coordinated by BIRA-IASB and composed of five research teams. A committee of scientists and users  of AGACC-II data has been set up: the follow-up committee. The Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) is the funding source of the project, in the framework of the Programme "Science for a Sustainable Development".


Jean Vanderauwera is leading the research group "Service de Chimie Quantique et Photophysique" which has an internationally recognized expertise in high resolution molecular spectroscopy. Its activities are centered around a world-class high-resolution Fourier transform spectrometer Bruker IFS125HR, equipped with various dedicated cells and specific analysis software written in the group. Accurate absorption line parameters (positions, absolute intensities and pressure broadening and shift coefficients) are measured. With this research, the group aims to provide reliable reference spectroscopic information, essential for studies of planetary atmospheres. Most of this research is carried out in collaboration with IASB-BIRA and the FUNDP, and experimental/theoretical groups in France, Italy, USA, Canada and Russia. It leads to regular contributions to the HITRAN and GEISA international spectroscopic databases, used worldwide to analyze remote sensing spectra.


Emmanuel Mahieu is leading the GIRPAS unit, involved in atmospheric research since the mid-1970s, using state-of-the-art instrumentation to monitor the Earth’s atmosphere from the ground, from balloon and space platforms. In particular, the group has built, installed and operated on a regular basis highresolution infrared spectrometers at the Jungfraujoch station (46.5ºN, 3580m alt.), leading to the production of a unique observational database now spanning 35 years. This has further resulted in gaining expertise in instrumental development and in the use and improvement of retrieval algorithms. Consistent and optimized analysis of these spectra has allowed to generate multidecadal time series for about two-dozen atmospheric species, vital for long-term trend analyses (in support to the Montreal and Kyoto Protocols) and for the validation of space-based sensors. The primary team’s objectives are to:

  • widen the number of species retrieved from FTIR spectra;
  • produce and/or update sets of high-level geophysical products and archive them at international data centers;
  • exploit and valorize 1976-1989 grating observations;
  • ensure optimum dissemination of the results (participation to meetings, publications in peer-reviewed journals);
  • produce ad hoc data for decision makers and contribute to their integration in assessment reports;
  • still expand the group’s expertise, contribute to the students’ formation (course, master thesis).

Hugo De Backer is leading the ozone-UV-aerosol group at KMI-IRM. The Royal Meteorological Institute is an institute of the Belgian Federal Government belonging to the ministry responsible for Scientific Policy. The tasks of the institute comprise the permanent delivery of services:

  • for the security and information of the public, including the socio-economic and scientific communities;
  •  for the support of the political authorities.

The services, mentioned above comprise:

  • hydro meteorology;
  • climatology;
  • geophysics; and similar sciences. The continuous management of observational networks, scientific research, innovation and international collaboration, guarantee the quality of these services.

The « ozone – UV –Aerosol » group is part of the Department « Observations » and is active in the following domains :

  • Long term observations of total ozone and UV irradiation with spectrophotometers
  • Observation of ozone, temperature, humidity and wind profiles with balloon ozone soundings
  • Validation of ozone data from satellite data (ENVISAT of ESA and within the EUMETSAT ozone SAF)
  • Aerosol optical depth measurements in the UV with Brewer spectrophotometers.
  • As from 2011 measurement of aerosol backscatter signals with Ceilometer/LIDAR.

Two research units from BIRA-IASB are involved in AGACC-II:

  • Research unit ‘Infrared atmospheric observations and related laboratory experiments’

Dr. M. De Mazière is leading the Research Unit (RU) ‘Infrared atmospheric observations and related laboratory experiments’, belonging to the Operational Direction ‘Atmospheric Composition’ at BIRA-IASB. Its main objective is to investigate the atmospheric composition using remote sensing observations from ground and space, using FTIR spectrometry. To achieve this goal, it also has to advance the capabilities of the FTIR technique. The RU works on the development and improvement of instruments, of retrieval algorithms, and on the characterization of the data products (information content and uncertainties), which are key elements in the exploitation of the data for geophysical studies. The RU operates an NDACC certified FTIR instrument at Ile de La Réunion since 2000. It is now preparing a new experiment at Ile de La Réunion dedicated to the measurement of greenhouse gases, which is a candidate for integration in TCCON. The RU contributes to international databases, and exploits its data in satellite validation activities and in comparisons with models, especially in collaboration with the Tropospheric Modelling RU at BIRAIASB. The RU is recognized internationally for its expertise in satellite data validation. Its ambition is to stay among the  leaders in the ground-based FTIR community, to promote the ground-based FTIR data in geophysical studies, and to enhance its expertise in satellite infrared data retrievals.

  • Research unit ‘UV-Visible Atmospheric observations and related laboratory experiments’

Dr. M. Van Roozendael is leading the Research Unit (RU) ‘UV-Visible Atmospheric observations and related laboratory experiments’, belonging to the Operational Direction ‘Atmospheric Composition’ at BIRA-IASB. The main objective is to investigate the atmospheric composition using remote sensing observations from ground and space. To achieve its goal, the RU focuses on improving the capabilities of the UV-Vis technique through instrumental and retrieval algorithm developments. UV-Vis multi-axis DOAS instruments are designed and assembled for regular monitoring at observation sites in Europe and China and for contributing to international field campaigns. The RU is strongly involved in the NDACC and its instruments are certified for operation in this network. Moreover it is active in the development of scientific retrieval algorithms of atmospheric chemistry satellite sensors (GOME, SCIAMACHY and GOME-2), and supports corresponding operational data centers at ESA/DLR and EUMETSAT/O3M-SAF. The RU also exploits its ground-based data in satellite validation activities and collaborates with the Stratospheric and Tropospheric Modelling RUs at BIRA-IASB for the exploitation of satellite measurements. Its ambition is to stay among the leaders in the ground-based and satellite UV-Vis community, and to promote the ground-based UV-Vis data in geophysical studies.

Follow-up Committee

The feedback received from the Committee will be taken into account in the further execution of the project. The follow-up committee will be contacted to participate in meetings and will be informed with new results.

Members of the follow-up committee:

  • Claude Camy-Peyret, Directeur de recherche au CNRS
    Affiliation: Laboratoire de Physique Moleculaire pour l'Atmosphere et l'Astrophysique (LPMAA) / UMR7092, UPMC/CNRS/IPSL
  • Jean-François Müller, Senior scientist
    Affiliation: Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy
  • Piet Termonia, Head of Department KMI-IRM, Program manager of the ALADIN consortium
    Affiliation: Koninklijk Meteorologisch Instituut van België
  • Pierre-François Coheur, Senior Scientist
    Affiliation: Service de Chimie Quantique et Photophysique/ Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Hugo Van Hooste, partner MIRA-team
    Affiliation: Vlaamse Milieumaatschappij
  • Jan Voet, National contact EMA & EIONET; Belgian representative in GMES User Forum
    Affiliation: Intergewestelijke Cel voor het Leefmilieu
  • Michael Schulz, senior scientist
    Affiliation: Meteorologisk Institutt, Oslo, Norway
  • Willy Maenhaut, Professor Emeritus
    Affiliation: University of Ghent