In 2019, the European Space Agency (ESA) has published a Call for Tender (CfT) for a 4-year project. The purpose is the measurements of atmospheric conditions above different site around the world thanks to a measurement station called CATM-GSE (Clouds Aerosols and Turbulence Monitoring – Ground Support Equipment) to assess the optical telecommunication links availability. This campaign should late at least for two years. These measurements will be then correlated to long-term satellite databases to assess the possibility of using these later for a long-term site characterization without using in-situ measurements.
In this context, the CNRS/OCA/Lagrange Lab. has gathered a consortium called ANAtOLIA (Atmospheric moNitoring to Assess the availability of Optical LInks through the Atmosphere), and composed of European research laboratories, industrials and companies has shown on the organigram below. The partners of the consortium are:
The main missions of the ANAtOLIA consortium are:
Initially, ESA planned to have a monitoring campaign above 8-10 sites around the world for a 2M€ budget.
Considering the instruments needed to measure atmospheric parameters with the best possible precision, and the work to be delivered to achieve the ESA goals, the ANAtOLIA consortium has considered this budget too low for such a number of sites.
Therefore, the consortium and ESA agreed to reduce the number of sites to monitor to 4 and to limit their location in Europe. To monitor this site, the consortium will build 2 portable CATM-GSE station to visits 3 sites as follow:
The 4th monitored site will be the Calern Observatory, already hosting the Calern Atmospheric Turbulence Station (CATS) since 2015.
The CATM-GSE station is then composed of the following set of complementary instruments:
The ANAtOLIA project is divided in 27 work packages spread over 4 years and including 8 different milestones. The Gantt diagram shown below present the calendar of the project with all work packages.
The 2 first years are dedicated to the preliminary study of useful parameters, databases, and the monitor able to measure them. In this period, we will also be focused on the selection of location to monitor and on the design and manufacture of the CATM-GSE station.
The last 2 years will be dedicated to the monitoring campaign, to the data analysis and to the correlation with other sources of data.