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GAW-Sahara

The AECI’s Project entitled “Global Atmospheric Watch in the Magreb-Sahara Region” (GAW-Sahara) will reinforce the “twining” established between the Tamanrasset-Assekrem and the Izaña WMO Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) stations of global importance initiated in 2006 with the ongoing SALAM project, and the cooperation program with the GAW station at Casablanca (Morocco). This new project is focused on Ozone and UV GAW measurement programs.

Within the GAW-Sahara project is planned to install a double Brewer spectrophotometer at the Tamanrasset Meteorological Regional Center and a NILU multifilter radiometer at the high-altitude Assekrem GAW station. As an operational Dobson spectrophotometer is at Tamanrasset, this station would be one of the few sites in the world where a permanent and long-term intercomparison between the Dobson, the Brewer and the present and future satellite-based sensors could be performed on a routine basis. This initiative is strongly recommended by the WMO Ozone Scientific Advisory Group and will be a unique contribution to the total ozone global network Quality Assurance. On the other hand the installation of a NILU multifilter radiometer at Assekrem station will allow obtaining UV radiation, Photosynthetic Active Radiation (PAR) and also deriving total column ozone at a high-altitude site in the middle of the Sahara. The Brewer at Tamanrasset and the NILU at Assekrem will also fill a big gap existing nowadays of spectral UV and Umkehr observations in this region. Routine validation of new satellite-based sensors will be one of the main goals of these new measurement programs.

This project will also finance a short mission of the Brewer spectrophotometers from Morocco in order to participate in the future ozone and UV intercomparison for Brewer spectrophotometers organized by the Regional Brewer Calibration Center for RA-VI-Europe (RBCC-E) will be held at El Arenosillo station (Huelva, Spain).