CNR-IMAA atmospheric observatory (CIAO), active since year 2000, hosts a suite of remote sensing instruments that provide climatologically significative observations of optical, microphysical and geometrical properties of aerosols and clouds.
At the station are deployed both passive and active remote sensing instruments, like lidars, ceilometers, sun-photometers (and the newest sun-lunar photometer for night time measurements), radars and microwave profilers.
The quality-assured measurement dataset is expressly built to validate satellite observation and to evaluate the atmospheric model forecasts.
Particularly attention is paid to integrate passive and active observations to improve the profiling of the atmospheric variables.
Moreover, at CIAO research activity is going on to develop new techniques to improve instrument measurements and algorithms to analyse the physics and dynamics underlying the aerosol transport processes, to integrate lidar and microwave radiometer measurements or to study aerosol-cloud interaction and the nucleation processes.
At CIAO, research activity is conducted in cooperation with the main ground-based observation networks (EARLINET, ACTRIS, CloudNet, AERONET, NDACC, GRUAN, GALION, BSRN), with the main goal to provide long-term observational data relevant to climate and air quality research, supporting satellite missions (NASA, ESA, JAXA) and in cooperation with the modelling community (ECMWF, AEROCOM etc.).
Data quality also matches the protocols developed in the frame of the international networks in which active and passive instruments are operational.
The CIAO infrastructure hosted international satellite validation experiments, it has been involved in several international experiments for the study of aerosols and clouds and their modelling, and it is among the fifteen backbone stations involved in the operations of GRUAN (GCOS Upper-Air Reference Network).
For more information please visit www.ciao.imaa.cnr.it/