MC-IRSES Nr. 294949,  NOCTURNAL ATMOSPHERE, 76 points, reserve list 243 200 € (Implementation 03.02.2013 –  02.02.2017).


                     (FP7 – PEOPLE N-2011-IRSES, GA. 294949 – Marie Curie Actions- International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES). The Project start date 01.02.2013.

Project presentation (click) – IRSES2949449-NOCTURNAL ATMOSPHERE-FP7


Secondary photochemicalreactions and technologies for active remote sensing of nocturnal atmosphere


B.1. Quality of the Exchange Programme

B.1.1. Objectives and relevance of the joint exchange programme


Table 1. Participants.

Participant Legal entity Department Person in charge
1. Riga, Latvia University of LatviaLU Institute of Atomic Physics and Spectroscopy (ASI)

Institute of Astronomy

Dr. Arnolds Ubelis 


2. Bremen, Germany University of Bremen Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP) and Institute of Remote Sensing (IFE) Dr. Annette Ladstätter-Weißenmayr
3. Mainz, Germany Max Plank Institute for Chemistry (MPI Mainz) Atmospheric Chemistry Department and Satellite Remote Sensing Group Prof. Tomas Wagner 
4. Kyiv, Ukraine National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine  Institute of Fundamental Problems for High Technology (IFPHT) Prof. Vyacheslav Kochelap 
5. Moscow, Russia Central Institute of Aviation Motors (CIAM) Scientific Research Center “Raduga” Prof. Alexander Starik

B.1.1.2. Objectives

The key objective of the “NOCTURNAL ATMOSPHERE”project is to carry out coordinated transfer of knowledge measures between participating teams in the EU, in the Ukraine and Russia with the aim of restoring and strengthening scientific partnership and of developing new collaboration for long lasting synergy, to enhance the level of scientific excellence of participating early stage and experienced researchers. The transfer of knowledge and achievement of intellectual “critical mass” will occur through performing theoretical exercises and laboratory research in the important and growing field of secondary photochemical reactions in the Earth’s nocturnal atmosphere and in development breakthroughs of active remote sensing technologies for night-time cartography of the troposphere and stratosphere. The challenge is to create a unique instrument for ranging sensors on satellite, crossing night-time sky segment, with a combined laser&white light beam from the Earth.

The consortia members have relevant theoretical and experimental research experience and specific technical skills to achieve progress in research on the nocturnal atmosphere. The aim is to amplify their knowledge and skills via research work on specific work packages and a transfer of knowledge component consisting of seminars, workshops and a summer school which will ensure the effective dissemination of results and foster interactions amongst the young researchers and PhD students.


B.1.1.4. The state-of-the-art and general scientific content of foreseen research.

It is becoming more and more evident that global changes in atmospheric composition directly affect many aspects of life on the Earth, determining climate, air quality, and atmospheric inputs to ecosystems. In turn, these changes affect the fundamental needs for human existence and sustainable development on Earth: human health, food production, health of ecosystems, and the entire biosphere[1].

In particular, the destruction of the ozone layer can be assumed to be the first signal that risk management strategies should be applied to atmospheric safety and sustainability [2], [3], [4].

Regarding the short history of the Earths atmospheric research, it is logical to conclude that existing research and monitoring efforts are only beginning steps and the search for novel approaches and research methodologies of theoretical, laboratory and field research, including remote sensing technologies and satellite application, are needed more than ever. In particular, the problems of nocturnal atmosphere and specifically secondary photochemical reactions need significantly more attention.  Increased intensity of satellite usage s during the night-time will result the new outcomes for monitoring and research in the atmosphere and enhance satellites value for money. The most recent summary of the “state-of-the-art” in atmosphere research is provided in IGOS Atmospheric Chemistry Theme Report 2004[5] and in the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS) and Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) reports published at WMO Information System (WIS) Web pages[6]. A survey of remote sensing technologies and developments in the field one can find in a very comprehensive book of well known researchers Burrows et al.[7] However, only few surveys dealing with nocturnal atmosphere chemistry and photochemistry can be found. There is a report on NO3 and N2O5 night-time chemistry observations by Cohen[8]. Krasnopolsky[9] has analyzed night-time chemistry in the survey comparing atmospheric chemistry on Venus, Earth, and Mars. Nocturnal long wavelength photochemistry in the atmosphere is discussed by Donaldson et al.[10].  Comprehensive efforts are lacking on the subject in general and in particular, for secondary photochemical processes in the nocturnal atmosphere[11],[12],[13].







[1]   W. Steffen, A. Sanderson, P.D. Tyson, et al. (2004) Global Change and the Earth system: Planet Under Pressure. The IGBP Book Series, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, 336 p.

[2]F. Sherwood Rowland (1995) Stratospheric Ozone Depletion by Chlorofluorocarbons (Nobel Lecture). In: Encyclopedia of Earth, Eds. C.J. Cleveland (2009). Available at

[4]Michael Carlowicz ,May 13, 2009. The World We Avoided by Protecting the Ozone Layer.

[5]  L.A.Barrie, P.Borrell,J.Langen. IGOS Atmospheric Chemistry Theme Report 2004: The Changing Atmosphere. Sept.2004, ESA SP-1282, Sept.2004, Report GAW No.159. WMO TD No1235.

[6]WMO GAW Research and Monitoring Reports,

[7]Burrows, John P.; Platt, Ulrich; Borrell, Peter (Eds.)  The Remote Sensing of Tropospheric Composition from Space. Springer Series: Physics of Earth and Space Environments . 1st Edition., 2011, XV, 536 p.

[8]  Ronald C. Cohen,  Dep.of Earth and Planetary Sci. University of California, Berkeley Final Report, Nighttime Chemistry: Observations of NO3 andN2O5,CARB04-335,pp.1-44.

[9]V.A. Krasnopolsky, Atmospheric chemistry on Venus, Earth, and Mars: Main features and comparison. Planet. Space Sci. (2010); doi:10.1016/j.pss.2010.02.011. Available online 25 February 2010.

[10] D.J. Donaldson, C. George, V. Vaida, Red sky at night: Long-wavelength photochemistry in the atmosphere, Environ. Sci. Technol. 44 (2010) 5321–5326.D.

[11]J.A. Salmond, I.G. McKendry, Secondary ozone maxima in a very stable nocturnal boundary layer: observations from the Lower Fraser Valley, BC, Atmos. Environ. 36 (2002) 5771–5782.

[12]M. Steinbacher, S. Henne, J. Dommen, P. Wiesen and A.S.H. Prevot, Nocturnal trans-alpine transport of ozone and its effects on air quality on the Swiss Plateau, Atmos. Environ. 38 (2004) 4539–4550.

[13] S.S. Brown, J.A. Neuman, T.B. Ryerson et al. Nocturnal odd-oxygen budget and its implications for ozone loss in the lower troposphere, Geophys. Res. Lett. 33 (2006) L08801, doi:10.1029/2006GL025900.