ACTRIS – Aerosol, Clouds and Trace Gases Research Infrastructure

ACTRIS ( is a pan-European research infrastructure producing high-quality data and information on short-lived atmospheric constituents and on the processes leading to the variability of these constituents in natural and controlled atmospheres.

ACTRIS Vision ACTRIS is the fundamental European Research Infrastructure for short-lived atmospheric constituents, increasing the excellence in Earth system observation and research and providing information and knowledge for developing sustainable solutions to societal needs. ACTRIS Mission ACTRIS shall establish, operate, and develop a pan-European distributed research infrastructure for short-lived atmospheric constituents. ACTRIS shall provide effective access for a wide user community to its resources and services in order to facilitate high-quality Earth system research.

The overall aim of ACTRIS is to provide open and easy access to resources and services to a broad user community world-wide to conduct excellent research, foster innovation and provide high-quality information for society to tackle societal challenges related to air quality, climate change and health.  ACTRIS is one of the rare distributed RI in the environmental domain that provides all types of access, virtual, remote and physical access, to its advanced research facilities.

The main objectives of ACTRIS are:                                         

  • to provide information on the 4D-composition and variability and of the physical, optical and chemical properties of short-lived atmospheric constituents, from the surface throughout the troposphere to the stratosphere, with the required level of precision, coherence and integration;
  • to provide efficient open access to ACTRIS data and services and the means to effectively use the ACTRIS products;
  • to promote the training of operators and users and enhance the linkage between research, education and innovation in the field of atmospheric science;
  • to ensure and raise the quality of data and use of up-to-date technology used in the RI and the quality of services offered to the community of users, involving partners from the private sector.

ACTRIS integrates, harmonizes, and distributes datasets, activities, and services provided by the Central Facilities (CFs) and National Facilities (NFs), located in 18 European countries. The National Facilities, which include observational and exploratory platforms both within Europe and at selected global sites, are responsible for the acquisition of high quality, reliable and accurate data to document the 4-D distribution and variability of aerosol, clouds and trace gases and their complex interactions. ACTRIS includes eight Central Facilities (CFs) – six Topical Centres (TCs), the Data Centre (DC) and the Head Office (HO) – that are essential to ensure compliance of the measurements with standard operation procedures and data analysis. After many years of community building, design and preparatory phase, ACTRIS has now started a five-year implementation phase (2020-2024) dedicated to constructing and upgrading the National Facilities and Central Facilities and setting up the user access and service provision as well as the governance and management structures. Efforts will be made to connect with new users and attract new member countries, develop further strategies within ACTRIS and for international collaboration and partnerships, and integrate ACTRIS at different strategic levels (national, European and internationally). Following the Implementation Phase, ACTRIS will be operational and will become a reference for short-lived atmospheric constituents, offering a unique portfolio of services including open access to data and physical and remote access to Central Facilities and National Facilities services.

ACTRIS ERIC will provide the coordination, integration, development, monitoring, and governance of ACTRIS, and will steer the strategic and financial development as well as the long-term sustainability of ACTRIS. Finland successfully submitted the formal request of setting up ACTRIS ERIC on 30th September 2021. The establishment of the legal entity ACTRIS ERIC is foreseen during the first half of 2022 to coordinate and operate a ACTRIS as a distributed RI.


ACTRIS results from more than 15 years of consistent development funded by both Member States and the European Commission through the Research Infrastructure programme.

ACTRIS builds on historical European research collaborations: EARLINET (European Aerosol Research Lidar Network, EU-FP5 and FP6 projects), EUSAAR (European Supersites for Atmospheric Aerosol Research, EU-FP6 project), CREATE (Construction, use and delivery of an European aerosol database, EU-FP5 project), Cloudnet (started as an EU-FP5 project for observing cloud profiles), to which a new integration of long-term trace-gas observatories was then added. ACTRIS operations started in 2011 and has built on several Integrated Initiatives (ACTRIS EU-FP7 and EU-H2020 projects) and also integrates the European Simulation Chambers (EUROCHAMP FP6, EUROCHAMP FP7, and EUROCHAMP H2020 projects). ACTRIS is on the ESFRI Roadmap since 2016 and has successfully completed ACTRIS PPP (EU-H2020 preparatory phase project). The current ACTRIS IMP (H2020 implementation project) aims at implementing a globally recognized long-term sustainable research infrastructure with well-functioning operations and services. ACTRIS has furthermore been participating in the EU cluster projects ENVRIplus and ENVRI-Fair (H2020 projects) for promoting networking and cross-disciplinary activities.

Documents clés

Pour les CF:

Pour les NF: