Remedy 1: Operationalise the Aircore technique at a range of sites also measuring using FTIR

Primary gap remedy type: 
Secondary gap remedy type: 
Technical remedy: 
TRL 7 for the AirCore, TRL 5 for the steerable carrier
Proposed remedy description: 

Currently, there is a limited availability of Aircore in Europe: only a few institutes have the required expertise to build and operate them, and to analyse the data. Moreover, the deployment of an Aircore depends on the availability of a suitable balloon launching site.

To enable operational use of the Aircore for providing vertical profiles of greenhouse gases over Europe and elsewhere on a regular basis, we need to have an Aircore system that is available ‘off-the-shelf’ and that can be used at many sites by non-expert users. Or we need a dedicated provider of Aircore data in Europe.

Moreover, we need an Aircore system that can be launched at many more sites, without meeting too many constraints about the site’s environment. More specifically, we need an Aircore system that can descend in a steered way to a pre-determined landing site, and that complies with air traffic regulations. Currently, carrier platforms are being studied for bringing the Aircore down to a pre-defined landing spot, based on the concept of a steerable glider or Unmanned Airborne Vehicle (UAV). The development of this kind of system should be further extended and such systems should become readily available to the community.


The database of vertical profiles of greenhouse gases measured by Aircore will be used by the scientific community for verification and validation purposes, and for better calibration of the non-satellite and satellite remote sensing observing system to WMO standards (traceability). In the end, it will result in more reliable greenhouse gases products and trends, e.g., in Copernicus.

The remedy will also contribute to the network-wide, more cost-effective calibration tool.

Measurable outcome of success: 

A much larger database of vertical profiles of greenhouse gases, with a better spatiotemporal spread.

Expected viability for the outcome of success: 
  • High
Scale of work: 
  • Consortium
  • Programmatic multi-year, multi-institution activity
Time bound to remedy: 
  • Less than 3 years
Indicative cost estimate (investment): 
  • Medium cost (< 5 million)
Potential actors: 
  • EU H2020 funding
  • Copernicus funding
  • WMO
  • ESA, EUMETSAT or other space agency
  • Academia, individual research institutes
  • SMEs/industry