INSPIRE Knowledge Base

Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (IASB-BIRA)

LMO Description
Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (IASB-BIRA)
Proposed role in INSPIRE development
  • allocate experts to Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • submit reference material as input to the Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • be kept informed
  • yes
  • implement pilot projects to test/revise/develop the draft Implementing Rules
  • yes
    Level of authority: 
    Belgian federal scientific institute
    Formal Mandate: 
    <p>Aeronomy is the science that studies all planetary atmospheres in which physical and chemical processes, resulting from the dissociation and ionization phenomena under the influence of the solar radiation, are important. It is a multidisciplinary science, based on observations, which contributes to the knowledge of the atmospherical environment from the Earth to the Sun. </p> <p>Main tasks of the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy are public service and research in the field of the space aeronomy, i.e. tasks that require data knowledge, gathered using ground-based, balloon, rockets and satellites observations within the framework of physics and chemistry of the atmosphere and outer space.</p> <p>That implies the following specific tasks:<br /> * to collect and place at the disposal of interested parties information on the terrestrial space environment and the atmosphere of the Earth, other planets and comets;<br /> * to develop experimental programs and theories which explain the observations;<br /> * to implement calculations, measurements and observations allowing control and extension of the existing knowledge.</p>
    Main Activities: 
    Basic fields of investigation of the institute are the troposphere where temperature decreases with increasing altitude (from ground up to about 11-17 km altitude), the stratosphere where temperature increases with increasing altitude (15-50 km), the mesosphere where temperature decreases again with increasing altitude (50-90 km), and the ionosphere (starting at 50km) where electrons and ions play an important role in the behavior of the atmosphere. From there it extends into interplanetary space, up to hundreds of thousands of kilometers from the Earth, where there is no more atmosphere, but where the magnetic field of our planet is still present. Regarding geolocated information, the institute contribute space-, balloon- and ground-based remote sensing of atmospheric composition addressing issues such as stratospheric ozone and ultraviolet radiation, air quality and pollution, greenhouse gases and aerosols, aviation hazards due to volcanic eruptions : ozone, nitrogen oxides (NO2, NO), chlorine oxides (OClO, ClONO2), bromine monoxide (BrO), sulfur dioxide (SO2), greenhouse gases such as carbon monoxide (CO) and dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), water vapor (H2O), CFCs, nitric acid (HNO3), VOC (volatile organic compounds such as formaldehyde and glyoxal) and non-VOC, aerosols and ashes.
    IASB-BIRA play a leading role in establishing the data quality strategy for the GEOSS in general and for the GMES Atmospheric Service (GAS) in particular. It contributes to GEO-CEOS activities; it coordinates the GSE PROMOTE QA/Validation Office; it works on the system engineering for the GMES Atmospheric Core Service (GACS). As such, it deals with issues such as metadata, data quality indicators, validation, quality assessment, etc., ann issues relevant to the INSPIRE implementation.
    Area of work/experience
    Geographic Domain:: 
    Global, from pole to pole
    Societal Sector: 
    Federal government, scientific research, public services
    Previous Experience relevant for INSPIRE development: 
    Review of INSPIRE Metadata draft implementing rules in the framework of EC and ESA projects. Co-author of a harmonised metadata system for the archiving of atmospheric composition measurements from different instruments. Expert in atmospheric data/service quality assessment, in quality information and indicators, and in quality reporting. Involved actively in the GEOSS implementation, e.g. in the GEO-CEOS activities aiming to establish the data quality strategy for Earth observation satellites, ground-based monitoring networks and systems producing higher level data products.
    Primary Business: 
    Remote sensing of global atmospheric composition and climate
    Environmental application domains: 
    Monitoring and modelling atmospheric composition from the global to the regional scale; stratospheric ozone and ultraviolet, radiation, air pollution, greenhouse gases and climate change etc.