The National Observatory of Athens (NOA) is the oldest Research Centre in Greece, established in 1842, covering a wide range of earth and space sciences, from land and atmospheric applications to astrophysics. NOA is the Greek Focal Point for the Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS) and it furthermore hosts the UNESCO Chair for Natural Disasters. The Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing (IAASARS, former ISARS: www.space.noa.gr) is one of NOA’s three Institutes (www.noa.gr). IAASARS operates as the main Greek focal point and one of the European centres of excellence for space research, remote sensing applications and services. This refers mainly to state-of-the-art R&D activities supportive of the European Space Policy objectives and to the provision of remote sensing products for civil protection and other societal needs of the Greek state. IAASARS is a research institute with high scientific capabilities and in-house expertise in multidisciplinary space and environmental sciences. The primary goals of Earth Observation activities are achieved through the operation of ground-based instrumentation, satellite data receiving stations, systematic collection, processing and archiving of data, production and provision of information and services, satellite validation activities and development of innovative satellite-related technologies.
Activities related to the proposed project include, (a) the development of the LIVAS climatology, a reference atmospheric database used by ESA for simulation studies regarding future space-borne lidar missions (http://lidar.space.noa.gr:8080/livas/), (b) the implementation of an experimental campaign dedicated to CALIPSO validation over Eastern Mediterranean (ACEMED – Evaluation of CALIPSO’s aerosol classification scheme over Eastern Mediterranean), (c) the participation of NOA as associated partner in ACTRIS (Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research InfraStructure Network) infrastructure network (http://www.actris.net/) and (d) the development and continuous operation of the Atmospheric Remote Sensing Station (ARSS) in Athens, Greece (http://aeronet.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/type_one_station_opera_v2_new?site=ATHENS-NOA&nachal=2&level=2). NOA is the principal investigator of ESA-LIVAS project and ACEMED experimental campaign and is an associated partner in ACTRIS infrastructure network.
The main tasks of NOA are those of retrieval of an aerosol/cloud vertical distribution climatology for China including the discrimination of dust component, the retrieval of PBL and injection height products and the feasibility study for retrieving surface PM from the synergy of space-borne observations.