Aerosol, Clouds and Trace Gases Research Infrastructure
General Info


Erik Palménin aukio 1, 00560 Helsinki, Finland

legal status



physical, virtual, remote

The Aerosol, Clouds and Trace Gases Research Infrastructure (ACTRIS) is a distributed research infrastructure dedicated to high-quality observation of aerosols, clouds, and trace gases and exploration of their intricate interactions. ACTRIS delivers precision data, innovative services, and procedures regarding the 4D variability and the physical, optical and chemical properties of short-lived atmospheric constituents to improve the current capacity to analyse, understand and predict past, current and future evolution of the atmospheric environment. With a commitment to delivering high-quality and data, innovative services, and advanced procedures, ACTRIS focuses on unravelling the 4D variability and the physical, optical, and chemical properties of short-lived atmospheric constituents. By enhancing our capacity to analyse, understand and predict the past, current, and future evolution of the atmospheric environment, ACTRIS serves a diverse community of users engaged in observations, experiments, modelling, satellite data analysis, and predicting systems. At its core, ACTRIS offers access to advanced technological platforms designed to explore atmospheric processes critical for understanding air quality and climate change dynamics. Officially established as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) in April 2023, ACTRIS operates seamlessly across 17 European countries, coordinating and providing access to its vast array of resources and services to a wide user community. These include open access to data alongside physical and remote access to atmospheric research facilities, ensuring inclusive utilization by researchers, policymakers, and stakeholders beyond academia. Central to its operation are the integration, quality assurance, harmonization, and distribution of datasets, activities, and services, facilitated through its Central Facilities and National Facilities. The National Facilities, strategically located within Europe and at selected global sites, are tasked with acquiring high-quality data from Exploratory Platforms and Observational Platforms documenting the distribution and variability of aerosols, clouds, and trace gases. Supported by eight Central Facilities, including six Topical Centers, the Data Centre and the Head Office, ACTRIS maintains rigorous compliance with standard operating procedures and data analysis, ensuring observations of indisputable quality. The overarching mission of ACTRIS is to provide exemplary data, data products, and research facility access, nurturing innovation and furnishing dependable information to decision-makers grappling with societal challenges about air quality, climate change, and public health. Through collaborative endeavors with other research infrastructures within various project frameworks, ACTRIS contributes to the establishment of a comprehensive digital ecosystem steeped in scientific relevance. By amplifying data production, quality assurance, and accessibility, ACTRIS facilitates a deeper understanding of physical and chemical processes, effectively bridging gaps in predictive capability across local and global scales.
Total Investment 698 M€ Design 85 M€ Preparation 93 M€ Implementation 520 M€ Operation 93 M€/year Project Landmark 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 2018 2020 2022 2024 2026 2028 2030 2032 2034 2036 2038 RM06 RM08 RM10 RM16 RM18 RM21 LA24
Roadmap Entry
as project: 2016
as landmark: 2021
Total investment
698 M€
Design Phase
85 M€
Preparation Phase
93 M€
Implementation Phase
520 M€
Operation start
93 M€/year
ACTRIS catalyzes socio-economic advancement, offering a multitude of benefits and fostering development in its scientific domain and interconnected areas. One of the primary objectives of ACTRIS is to map the spatial and temporal variability of key compounds influencing cloud formation, precipitation, and ecosystem productivity. This data aids in predicting the evolution of food and water security, essential for societal resilience. By providing enhanced observations and technological support, ACTRIS contributes to substantial improvements in air quality measurements across Europe, and thereby supports the enhancing public health and well-being. Moreover, ACTRIS operations support the actions to reduce emissions and mitigate citizens' exposure to air pollution support the transition to cleaner and more sustainable technologies, fostering innovation and economic growth in related sectors. Furthermore, ACTRIS plays a pivotal role in driving advancements in environmental science and related fields through its embrace of digitalization and integration of workflows. This not only optimizes research efforts and maximizes efficiency but also fosters cross-disciplinary collaboration and knowledge transfer, unlocking new opportunities for innovation and discovery. ACTRIS offers versatile opportunities for human capital development for raising a new generation of skilled and engaged professionals who value work with a purpose and learning opportunities. As ACTRIS continues to evolve and expand its capabilities, it is poised to elicit further developments and opportunities in its scientific realm and beyond, driving socio-economic progress and contributing to a more sustainable future.
ACTRIS operates to support the broad scientific community to generate excellent research by placing the service to users at the core of its operations and strategic development. ACTRIS aims at open access to ACTRIS services, following the principles set out in the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities and the open access and open science strategy promoted by the European Commission and the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures. Access to ACTRIS services is divided into two main categories, each governed by a corresponding policy: (1) access to Data Services – high quality, harmonized, and documented ACTRIS data from observational and exploratory National Facilities (guided by the ACTRIS data policy), (2) access to Technical / Research / Innovation / Training Services provided by the ACTRIS Central and National Facilities (guided by the ACTRIS Access and Service Policy and ACTRIS Access Management Plan). Access to ACTRIS data, data products, and digital tools provided through virtual access is addressed in the ACTRIS Data Policy and the ACTRIS Data Management Plan, which respectively establish the principles and process for data provision. Access to Technical / Research / Innovation / Training services provided to users on-site, remotely, or in a hybrid format by ACTRIS Topical Centres and National Facilities, including remote access to specific on-demand services of the Data Centre related to ACTRIS data, data products, and digital tools, is governed by the ACTRIS Access and Service Policy and the Access Management Plan. Training services target both ACTRIS staff and ACTRIS users to ensure knowledge-sharing and best practices. Training services are provided remotely, physically, or in a hybrid format to external users.
S S H D I G I T E N E H & F P S E
ACTRIS is cooperating actively in the European RI landscape, as part of the ENVRI community. Together with other atmospheric RIs, ICOS and IAGOS, ACTRIS is involved or leading several RI projects for e.g. developing sustainable access strategies and concepts facilitating long-term access provision to distributed atmospheric RIs (ATMO ACCESS), and for responding to the need to reduce air pollution across Europe and reduce the associated health impacts building on the expertise and knowledge developed within IAGOS and ACTRIS and on their existing collaborations with air quality monitoring systems (RI URBANS), facilitating technical innovations (ENVRINNOV) and building cooperation with RI counterparts in Africa (KADI). In addition, ACTRIS together with several RIs from the ENVRI domain is engaged in IRISCC, a project integrating existing services of several RIs and creating new services for research and policy-making related to climate change-induced risks, and in POLARIN, a project engaging an international network of polar research infrastructures and their services, aiming at addressing the scientific challenges of the polar regions. It is foreseen that the demand for services for cross-domain services will increase. Currently, ACTRIS is engaged to promote cross-actions with EIRENE in the Health and Environment domain.