IAGOS combines the expertise of European scientific institutions and weather services with the global infrastructure of civil aviation to provide essential data on climate change and air quality. It builds on the scientific and technological experience gained within the research projects MOZAIC (Measurement of Ozone and Water Vapour on Airbus in-service Aircraft), which was funded by the EC between 1993 and 2004 under FP 4 and FP 5, and CARIBIC (Civil Aircraft for the Regular Investigation of the Atmosphere Based on an Instrument Container).
IAGOS combines the two complementary concepts developed in MOZAIC and CARIBIC:
- IAGOS-CORE delivers continuous data on trace gases, aerosol and cloud particles from a growing fleet of aircraft operated globally.
- IAGOS-CARIBIC observes approximately 100 trace gases and aerosol parameters for a deeper understanding of atmospheric chemistry and physics from one aircraft.
The technical, organisational and legal concept for IAGOS has been developed during its preparatory phase under co-funding by the European Commission (IAGOS-ERI) and has undergone a thorough evaluation process, both by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) in the process of developing the ESFRI Roadmap and by the national science councils of Germany, France and the UK in the process of developing the National Roadmaps for Research Infrastructures.
In 2014, IAGOS was implemented as International Association (IAGOS-AISBL) which coordinates the technical and scientific activities conducted by the Members and provides the central organisation for the Research Infrastructure (RI). An important aspect is to decide on implementation and development of the RI in cooperation with the user community.
The scientific equipment deployed in IAGOS is owned and provided in-kind by the Members of IAGOS-AISBL, who are also responsible for quality assurance of the measurements and for provision of the data to the central IAGOS data base. The aeronautic quality assurance is organised by the IAGOS Maintenance Centre.
IAGOS is supported by France, Germany and the UK through national projects funded by BMBF (IAGOS-D), CNRS (IAGOS-F) and NERC (IAGOS-UK), respectively, in addition to institutional resources of the Members.
The Airlines associated with IAGOS contribute significantly to operation of the infrastructure by providing their technical expertise during installation and deployment of the equipment and by waving the additional fuel costs incurred by carrying the IAGOS-CORE installation.
Reviews of Concept
Overall Assessment (from evaluation report)
“The proposal for IAGOS is assessed as strong, mature, and timely. IAGOS will fill a very important gap that exists with regards to the understanding and monitoring of atmospheric composition associated with climatic change. It complements existing ground-based (baseline) observatories and satellite observations by providing observations in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere of unique detail and accuracy. No comparable infrastructure exists worldwide, which underlines the importance of IAGOS.”
IAGOS also received a positive review by the Assessment Expert Group (AEG) of the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI).