On the European level, ACTRIS operations are performed by ACTRIS Central Facilities (CFs) that include:
- the Data Centre
- the Head Office
and six Topical Centres
- the Centre for Aerosol In Situ - European Centre for Aerosol Calibration (CAIS-ECAC)
- the Centre for Aerosol Remote Sensing (CARS)
- the Centre for Cloud In Situ (CIS)
- the Centre for Cloud Remote Sensing (CCRES)
- the Centre for Reactive Trace Gases In Situ (CiGas)
- the Centre for Reactive Trace Gases Remote Sensing (CREGARS)
The ACTRIS CFs represent the key operative entities of this RI and have a fundamental role as they provide services to the users according to the ACTRIS access policy as well as operation support to the National Facilities (NFs) to increase their performance. The CFs participate in ACTRIS governance and management and provide services to the users accordingly to the user access policy as well as operation support to the National Facilities. Each CF may have several operational Units that can be situated in the same or different locations and are operated by research performing organizations (RPOs) or by ACTRIS ERIC. The CFs link the National Facilities, i.e. the observational and exploratory platforms, which are operated at the national level and produce the majority of the ACTRIS data.
About ACTRIS Topical Centres
ACTRIS TCs are organized around the main scientific themes of ACTRIS: aerosols, clouds, and reactive trace gases, each with a particular focus on either remote sensing or in situ measurement techniques.
The key services and operation support provided by the TCs are
- a) procedures and tools for quality assurance and quality control of ACTRIS measurements and data,
- b) transfer of knowledge and training to ACTRIS operators and users, and
- c) improvements of measurement methodologies for aerosols, clouds, and reactive trace gases.
The TCs operate at the state-of-the-art, fostering the implementation of validated new techniques in ACTRIS. To sustain a high level of performance and to stimulate the advancement of new techniques and methodologies, the TCs contribute to expert collaboration networks.
ACTRIS TCs under implementation include the existing European WDC and WCC components of GAW, the European component of the AERONET calibration facility, and complement centres already operating within other RIs (e.g. ICOS) or activities already ongoing in networks (NDACC) in Europe. Quality objectives are therefore compliant with international standards. Not all the TCs are currently at the same level of maturity, some are nearly operational while others are still in planning. Each of the TCs is foreseen to be organized as a consortium with several Units.