What is AERIS?

AERIS, data and services centre for the atmosphere

Research in the atmospheric field concerns themes such as dynamics, physics and atmospheric chemistry. It also includes work more oriented towards the study of climate change. To carry out this research, the scientific community uses models but also observations obtained on the ground, by means of satellites or airborne devices.

One of the challenges of this century is to make this data accessible to a large community, whether for research activities or commercial applications. To be useful, these observational data must be calibrated, validated and homogenized. It is in this context that AERIS is involved.

AERIS is made up around four data centres (ESPRI, ICARE, SEDOO and SATMOS) with the resources for collective data management, where around 40 people are involved. It also relies on centres of expertise and laboratory networks, which are essential elements of a data centre for algorithmic developments and prototyping.

AERIS, generates products from the observations, but also many services to help in the use of the data, help in campaigns, or interface with the models.

It has positioned itself as a key player in the provision of data and services at both French and European level.

The center’s emblematic missions

AERIS is involved in many national and European projects related to the atmosphere. These include IAGOS in airborne data projects, IASI which provides level 2 data from IASI/METOP satellites, ACTRIS for ground data observation, HEMERA 2020 which processes balloon data and GEISA, a unique database providing atmospheric spectroscopic information. All these projects are supported by several of our tutelles and enable AERIS to position itself on a national level but also internationally and Europe-wide as a key player in the management of atmospheric data for the scientific community.

AERIS: One of the 4 national centres for observing the “Earth System”.

In order to be able to answer the questions that our societies are asking about their environment, scientific research must henceforth address the “Earth System” as a whole, from the Earth’s core to the upper limit of the atmosphere, and take into account the interactions between its various compartments (air, water, vegetation, soil, etc.).

At the end of 2013, the national research organisations decided to set up four national hubs corresponding to each of the major compartments of the Earth System, in order to establish coordinated management and centralised access to data:

These four centres are now federated within the Data Terra research infrastructure, which is included in the national roadmap for research infrastructures, a government tool for strategic steering to meet the knowledge and innovation needs of national research. Cross-disciplinary centres also exist, such as Dinamis, which is the National Institutional Mechanism for Mutualised Satellite Imaging Supply, the Interpoles working groups which deal with technical subjects common to the data and service centres, and the Europe working group which deals with European subjects common to the data and service centres.

Data Terra represents €40 million in full costs and more than 160 FTEs, spread over more than 400 people from the 19 partner organisations.