What is AERIS?

An atmosphere Data and Service Centre

Atmospheric science research concerns fields like atmospheric dynamics, physics and chemistry. It also includes work more oriented towards the study of climate change or air quality. To conduct this research, the scientific community uses models and observations obtained on the ground, from satellites or airborne platforms.

One of the challenges of this century is to make these data accessible to a broad community, both for research and commercial applications. To be useful, these observation data must be calibrated, validated and homogenized. This is where AERIS comes in.

AERIS is composed of four Data Centres—ESPRI, ICARE, SEDOO and SATMOS—with extensive computing and data storage resources, staffed by around 40 people. It is also backed by centres of expertise and laboratory networks, which are key elements for developing algorithms and prototyping.

AERIS not only generates products from observations, but also offers many services to aid data exploitation and survey campaigns, and to interface with models.

It is thus a top player in the provision of data and services in France and Europe.

Emblematic missions

AERIS is involved in many national and European atmospheric science projects. These include IAGOS for airborne data, IASI, which provides level 2 data on gas concentrations from Eumetsat’s MetOp satellites, ACTRIS for ground data from observation sites or research laboratories, HEMERA 2020, which processes balloon data, and GEISA, a unique database providing spectroscopic information about the atmosphere. All these projects are supported by several of our overseeing authorities, making AERIS a key player in managing atmosphere data for the scientific community at national, European and international level.

One of four national centres observing the “Earth System”.

To answer the questions that citizens are asking about their environment, scientific research must henceforth address the Earth system as a whole, from the planet’s core to the upper reaches of its atmosphere, including the interactions between its various components (air, water, vegetation, soil, etc.).

Four national Data Centres have been set up for each of the major components of the Earth system:

These four centres are now federated within the Data Terra research infrastructure, part of the government’s strategic research infrastructure roadmap geared towards meeting the knowledge and innovation requirements of national research. Cross-disciplinary services also exist, such as the DINAMIS national structure for a mutualised access to satellite imagery, the Interpole working groups addressing technical topics common to the Data and Service Centres, and the Europe working group addressing European topics common to the Data and Service Centres.

The full cost of Data Terra amounts to €40 million with more than 160 FTEs across more than 400 people from the 19 partner organizations.