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Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SPA.2013.1.1-03 | Award Amount: 7.00M | Year: 2013

Policy makers are increasingly relying on Earth Observation (EO) data to make decisions on mitigating and adapting to climate change. These decisions need to be evidence-based and this requires complete confidence in EO-derived products. Although EO data is plentiful, it is rare to have reliable, traceable and understandable quality information. The situation is often further confused because various versions of the same product exist from data providers using different retrieval algorithms. Users need an internationally acceptable Quality Assurance (QA) framework that establishes, and provides understandable traceable quality information for the data products used in Climate Services. This will ensure that long-term data sets are historically linked and, in the future, automatically harmonised in an efficient and interoperable manner. The Quality Assurance for ECVs (QA4ECV) project will address these issues by developing a robust generic system for the QA of satellite and in-situ algorithms and data records that can be applied to all ECVs in a prototype for future sustainable services in the frame of the GMES/Copernicus Climate Change Service. Multi-use tools and SI/community reference standards will be developed. The QA4ECV project will generate quality-assured multi-decadal Climate Data Records for 3 atmospheric ECV precursors (NO2, HCHO, and CO) and 3 land ECVs (albedo, LAI, and FAPAR), with full uncertainty metrics for every pixel ready for model ingestion. The generic QA framework will be applied to these ECVs. QA4ECV will engage with all stakeholders, including other ECV projects, governance bodies and end-users, developers of Climate Services and relevant projects. The QA4ECV project will show how trustable assessments of satellite data quality and reliable means of interoperability can facilitate users in judging the fitness-for-purpose of the ECV Climate Data Record. QA4ECV will be a major step forward in providing quality assured long-term Climate Data Records that are relevant for policy and climate change assessments.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SPA.2013.2.1-01 | Award Amount: 2.83M | Year: 2013

The goal of this project is to investigate in detail the dynamics and composition of the middle and lower atmosphere of Venus by combining data from Venus Express instruments (VIRTIS, VMC) with simultaneous data acquired from several ground-based telescope facilities. The project will perform coordinated observations to provide a detailed analysis of dynamical and chemical couplings between different levels of the atmosphere that are probed simultaneously by different instruments. It is time critical in the context of (1) the extension of the Venus Express (VEx) mission until the end of 2014 and with the possibility of only 1-2 years beyond; (2) the expertise and coordination in wind and trace species measurements developed in our institutions, currently unique in the world; (3) the availability of new techniques of ground-based investigation of Venus atmosphere, which will benefit from coordination and cross-calibration with in-orbit Venus Express payload instruments. Venus is Earths closest sibling, but it has ended up with a radically different climate. Venus atmospheric science is thus increasingly important in an era in which we are trying to understand the divergent evolutionary outcomes for terrestrial planets, whether we are considering the future of our Earth or the habitability in other solar systems. The European Space Agencys Venus Express is the only spacecraft at Venus prior to Venus Express, the last Venus orbiter was launched in 1989 so European scientists now lead the world in Venus research (in marked contrast to the status for most other planets). This project will (a) enhance the legacy of Venus Express data through cross-validation with complementary ground-based telescopic observations; (b) position European ground-based researchers to continue to lead Venus research after the end of the Venus Express mission, and (c) strengthen the position of European researchers in the emerging field of comparative planetology.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SPA.2013.2.1-01 | Award Amount: 3.59M | Year: 2013

CROSS DRIVE targets on creating the foundations for collaborative distributed virtual workspaces for European space science. Space exploration missions have produced huge data sets of potentially immense value for research as well as planning and operating future missions. However, currently expert teams, data and tools are fragmented, leaving little scope for unlocking this value through collaborative activities. The question of how to improve data analysis and exploitation of space-based observations can be answered by providing and standardizing new methods and systems for collaborative scientific visualisation and data analysis, and space mission planning and operation. This will not only allow scientist to work together, with each others data and tools, but importantly to do so between missions. The consortium brings together unprecedented expertise from space science, scientific visualisation, virtual reality and collaborative systems. The proposed collaborative workspace encompasses various advanced technological solutions to coordinate central storage, processing and 3D visualization strategies in collaborative immersive virtual environments, to support space data analysis. A specific focus is given to the preparation of the ExoMars 2016 TGO and 2018 rover missions. Three case studies will demonstrate the utility of the workspaces for European space science: Mars atmospheric data analysis, rovers landing site characterization and rover target selection during its real-time operations. The use cases will exploit state-of-the-art science data sets and they will be constructed in view of the ESA ExoMars missions scenarios. Impact on beneficiaries will be maximised both through providing an expandable backbone and reusable standardisation and tools, and three levels of workspace for: scientists directly engaged; other external scientists; and the public.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SPA.2013.3.2-01 | Award Amount: 2.90M | Year: 2013

Due to the strong economic growth in the China in the past decade, air pollution has become a serious issue in many parts of the country. Therefore, up-to-date regional air pollution information and means of emission control for the main pollutants are important for China. Especially, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River and the Pearl River deltas are known as three focal regions with serious air pollution where air quality policies are very important. Within the FP6 project AMFIC atmospheric environmental monitoring over China was addressed by a team of both Chinese and European scientists. Within AMFIC it was concluded that modelling of air quality and therefore the forecast capabilities are hampered by the rapidly changing emissions due to economic growth. In addition, air quality measures could not directly be related to changes in emissions. Therefore, within the follow-up proposal - MarcoPolo - the focus will be on emission estimates from space and the refinement of these emission estimates by spatial downscaling and by source sector apportionment. Air pollutants cover both anthropogenic and biogenic sources. A wide range of satellite data will be used from various instruments. From these satellite data, emission estimates will be made for NOx, SO2, PM and biogenic sources. With various state-of-the-art techniques emission inventories will be created and intercompared. By combining these emission data with known information from the ground a new emission database for MarcoPolo will be constructed. Due to the strongly growing economy in China regular emission inventories are quickly outdated. Within MarcoPolo we will have a monthly update of the emissions based on the latest satellite observations. The improved emission inventory is input to regional air quality models on meso-scale and urban-scale. End-users and decision makers will be informed about air quality via visualized model results and forecasts.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: INFRA-2011-2.1.1. | Award Amount: 5.62M | Year: 2012

ARISE proposes to design a new infrastructure that integrates different station networks in order to provide a new 3D image of the atmosphere from the ground to the mesosphere with unprecedented spatio-temporal resolution. Three existing networks are involved: 1) the International infrasound network developed for the verification of the Comprehensive nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), 2) the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Changes (NDACC) which uses Lidar to measure stratospheric dynamics, 3) the Network for the Detection of Mesopause Changes (NDMC), dedicated to airglow layer measurements in the mesosphere. In addition the network will incorporate complementary infrasound station and satellite data. The infrastructure extends across Europe and outlying regions, including polar and equatorial regions. The network will play a particularly important role in improving atmospheric measurement in the stratosphere. A great deal of recent work has shown that stratospheric variability, primarily caused by large, planetary-scale waves, is important for prediction of tropospheric weather and climate. Additionaly, the network will provide important new measurements of atmospheric gravity waves. Parameterization of gravity waves is needed for accurate simulation of mean climate and variability, but parameters are uncertain due to lack of long-term high-resolution observations. The expected benefits of ARISE are two-fold. First, the measurements will allow a better description of the atmosphere state, leading to an improved accuracy in short and medium range weather forecasts. Second, the measurements will be used to improve the simulation of middle atmosphere climate and its tropospheric impact. In the long term, data will be used for monitoring changes in the occurrence of extreme events and trends in the middle atmosphere climate. The benefits also include civil applications related to monitoring of natural hazards as volcanoes.

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