For decades, satellites have been monitoring the atmosphere to support research on the global climate, weather, and environment. However, strong demand still exists for ground-based observations of the whole atmosphere. An NSFC (National Natural Science Foundation of China) funded research facility named the "Atmospheric Profiling Synthetic Observation System" (APSOS), aimed at deepening our understanding on the interactions within the whole (neutral) atmosphere layers, was built at the Yangbajain (YBJ) International Cosmic Ray Observatory in Tibet, China, in late 2017 and is now in full operation.
The key instruments of APSOS are five lidars (i.e., laser radars), a cloud radar, a terahertz radiometer, and a telescope assembly of four Φ1200 mm mirrors. It can provide range-resolved profiles of temperature, wind, water vapor, aerosol, cloud, ozone, NO2, SO2, and CO2. In addition, there is a data management and validation platform for data retrieval, comparison, and validation.
APSOS is the world's first ground-based facility for profiling atmospheric variables and multiple constituents in the whole (neutral) atmosphere, covering the altitudes of the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and the lower thermosphere, according to APSOS team member Dr. Weilin PAN, a researcher with the Institute of Atmosphere Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. In a recently published article in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, reviewing the recent progress of APSOS, PAN describes how APSOS will be making long-term measurements and establishing the first whole-atmosphere measurement database over the Tibetan Plateau.
"International collaborations are strongly encouraged," PAN says.