The Group of Atmospheric Optics (GOA-UVa) was created in 1996 by Profs. Ángel de Frutos and Victoria Cachorro. It is organized as interdepartmental reasearch group, with members currently belonging to 3 different departments of our University: «Theoretical, Atomic Physics and Optics» (host department of the group), «Applied Physics» and «Didactics of Experimental Sciences» .
MILESTONES OF THE GROUP OF ATMOSPHERIC OPTICS, GOA-UVa
- The GOA-UVa has participated in initiatives and national coordinated projects in the last 20 years, improving the measurement and study of atmospheric components: aerosols, water vapour, ozone, etc. The GOA group has contributed to the installation and development of monitoring networks for aerosols, global solar radiation, UV radiation and stratospheric ozone together with the Izana Atmospheric Research Center (AEMET), INTA and other institutions. RIMA-AERONET is one example of these national and international initiatives.
- The GOA-UVA has been Group of excellence of the Castilla y Leon region (JCyL) since the first call in 2005, obtaining this recognisement also in 2008. It arises from the long experience in atmospheric and radiation studies, the application of different optical methods and the modelling in the UV, visible and IR ranges, together with the large activity in aerosol research. Since 2015 this recognition is denoted as Consolidated Research Unit (“Unidad de Investigación Consolidada”) by Junta de Castilla y León.
- In a common effort with most of the Spanish groups working in aerosol research, GOA-UVA has led the initiative to create and develop the RIMA-AERONET network, currently managed by GOA-UVa. Our group is in charge of the GOA calibration facility. This infrastructure is part of the AERONET-Europe Central Facility, partially funded by the European Union within ACTRIS and ACTRIS-2 projects. It belongs to the ACTRIS Research Infrastructure, included in 2016 in the ESFRI Roadmap. With the support of NASA GSFC and the Laboratory of Atmospheric Optics, University of Lille (LOA, Lille) as a partner in Europe, our group works actively in the development and operation of AERONET.
- The GOA-UVA has a cooperation framework agreement with the State Meteorological Agency of Spain (AEMET), that hav resulted in two large projects (2007-2010 and 2011-2014) carried out in cooperation with the Izana Atmospheric Research Center (CIAI) of AEMET whose scientific activities are related to the study of aerosols, ozone and radiometry, especially as it pertains to the influence of the North Africa area. The CIAI is a unique observation and calibration infrastructure, part of which has been provided by the GOA-UVa. During the first project, we carried out the design and put into operation of the Optical Calibration Laboratory of Izaña. Since 2015 we are involved together in the ACTRIS-2 Project by means of a JRU (Joint Research Unit) as part of the AERONET-Europe Calibration Infrastructure. This scientific collaboration allows the interchange of people and equipments between both institutions. Two researchers hired by the GOA-UVa work in CIAI within joint activities, both operational and research. Two Phd thesis have been co-supervised since 2008 and another two are currently ongoing. From the standpoint of research we emphasize the study of radiative forcing caused by desert dust, and the characterization of aerosols in the subtropical region. Work is also devoted to the recovery and homogenization of long series of radiation and AOD at Izaña with the help of radiative transfer models and the measurements and modelling of the radiation data of the BSRN station of Izaña
- The GOA-UVa began in 2002 the study of aerosols in the Arctic and sub-Arctic of Northern Europe through the station ALOMAR (Arctic Lidar Observatory for Middle Atmosphere Research) within the ARI Programme and eARI (enhanced Access to Research Infrastructures) of the EU. ALOMAR is located in Andenes (Norway), above the Arctic Circle. The station joined AERONET as a collaborative effort between the Andøya Space Center (formerly Andøya ROCKET RANGE) and GOA.UVa. As a complement to the study of aerosols in the northern part of Europe, it has also been included in AERONET the Birkenes site (southern Norway), belonging to NILU (Norsk Institutt for Luftforskning, Norwegian Institute for Air Research) , one of the first EMEP stations.
- Also we should mention in this context of Arctic aerosols our participation in the IV International Polar Year (IPY, 2007-2008) through the international projects POLARCAT (Polar Study using Aircraft, Remote Sensing, Surface Measurements and Models, of Climate, Chemistry , Aerosols, and Transport) and POLAR-AOD, leaded by CNR-ISAC. Currently (2016-2018) we carry out the POLARMOON project, funded by the Spanish MInistry MINECO, with investigation on aerosols at both Arctic and Antarctic locations, specially devoted for polar night measurements of aerosols based on lunar radiometry.
- The GOA-UVa and ESAT-El Arenosillo (INTA) started its scientific collaboration in 1995 with the spectral solar radiation measurements by a Li-COR spectroradiometer as the initial step of a large and deep cooperation concerning the study of aerosols, solar radiation and ozone, giving rise to 6 PhDs. In year 2000 the first AERONET station in Spain was installed at El Arenosillo. As part of this collaborative effort, INTA developped and put in operation the INTA Aerosol Laboratory, whose purpose is to characterize the aerosol particle size distribution with in situ techniques. In 2002 GOA and ESAT developed and set-up the Optical Laboratory for BREWER and solar broadband radiometer calibration. The station currently has a long database of column and in-situ aerosol properties representative of a rural area in southwestern Europe of great scientific interest, due to the large impact of desert dust outbreaks.
- Two projects (2006-07 and 2008-2012) were signed with the Environmental Deparment of the Junta de Castilla y León, for the detection, characterization and evaluation of episodes of high turbidity and desert dust in the Castilla y Leon region. An inventory of desert dust intrusions over the Castilla and Leon Autonomous Community has been performed for the period 2003-2014 (and this continues), which allows to evaluate the climatological contribution of desert dust aerosols over the total AOD and PMx.
- GOA-UVa maintains since years a scientific cooperation with the Department of Geology of the University of Huelva, for the chemical characterization of aerosols, aerosol mass concentration and other types of measurements. An AERONET station was maintained at CIECEM (Matalascañas, named Huelva station) between 2010-2016.
- In 2016 the GOA-UVa and the GOA-INSMET belonging to The Meteorological Institute of Cuba at the town of Camagüey have celebrated its 10 years of scientific collaboration based on many different Projects and Agreements about the study of aerosols and solar radiation. An AERONET station was installed at Camagüey in 2005. These projects have allowed the training of people of GOA-INSMET by different stays in Valladolid and the interchange of equipment and experiences between both groups.