The new SIRTA atmospheric observatory, an infrastructure operated by Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace (IPSL) of the Centre National de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), was inaugurated on Friday, September 17, 2021, in Palaiseau.
After nearly 20 years of operation, the SIRTA observatory was completely redesigned to sustain operations until at least the mid-century. Equipped with a 600m2 building and a 50m mast, located in a 2.5-ha parcel, to host over one hundred sensors, the infrastructure is integrated into a 40-ha natural environment sanctuary on the campus of Ecole Polytechnique, near the urban area of the Plateau de Saclay (France).
The site’s ceremonial inauguration took place on Friday morning and included a presentation of the observatory and the architectural project in the conference room of the new building. In order to place the site's activities at the core of the current climate issues, Mrs. Valérie Masson-Delmotte, co-chair of the IPCC group n°1, presented the new IPCC report and its conclusions.
The afternoon was dedicated to technical and scientific presentations. Through a guided tour leading to 6 different workshops distributed at key locations in the building, the participants discovered the activities of the SIRTA and the projects carried out by the whole team of the observatory.
This new environment, doubling the capacity of the observatory, will support research and teaching by :
- Reinforcing and perpetuating the study of all the physicochemical atmospheric processes from the surface to the top of the troposphere;
- Boosting and consolidating the experimental teaching activities and opening visits to the general public;
- Participating actively in the construction of European measurement networks and meeting the needs of numerous scientific projects.
The metamorphosis of the SIRTA observatory, concomitant with the construction of the European research infrastructure ACTRIS, is an unprecedented opportunity for the observatory to make its expertise and equipment available to the scientific community at large. The site will be fully integrated into ACTRIS, not only as a national facility but also by hosting the work of two thematic centers: CCRES (Centre for Cloud Remote Sensing) and ACMCC (Aerosol Chemical Monitor Calibration Center).
International users will have the opportunity to access the brand new observatory and its instruments under the first ATMO ACCESS call open from October 28, 2021 to January 28, 2022. Stay tuned!
Key facts and figures at SIRTA
- Created in 1999, more than 20 years of research and experimental teaching
- 150 instruments
- 18 member laboratories
- 1 000 interventions per year
- 750 students per year
- More than 320 scientific publications since 1999
- 60 measurement campaigns and instrumental tests
- 16 TB of data, 15 million files, 7 million hours of high quality recorded data
- 80 data streams and about 600 files per day
- 18 national scientific workshops hosted at the observatory