ATOLL (ATmospheric Observations in liLLe)

Energy Environment

Located in the heart of the University of Lille campus in Villeneuve d’Ascq, on the roof of the Physics Department, the ATOLL multi-laboratory platform is instrumented to measure a set of atmospheric variables of interest for climate, air quality and satellite validation. Since the early 1990s, it has been part of a long-term automated observation process.

ATOLL is located in the Hauts-de-France region, a territory with little relief and highly urbanised, industrialised areas as well as rural areas, and at the crossroads of air masses enriched with natural and anthropogenic gaseous and particulate elements, sometimes from very distant regions.

The technologies implemented enable the measurement and monitoring of the aerosol-cloud-gas composition, measurement of the variability and changes in the atmosphere of the extreme north of France, in its various compartments (from the ground to the stratosphere).

The platform (managed by LOA) operates 2 INSU National Observation Services (PHOTONS-AERONET/EARLINET for aerosols and NDACC-UV for UV radiation) which are components of ACTRIS-France, and in-situ aerosol/gas measurement instruments in close cooperation with IMT Nord Europe.

The scientific, technical and service activities related to photometry and Lidar surveys are integrated into the ACTRIS-EU CARS Central Facility and are certified by the University of Lille. The ATOLL platform has initiated the process to become officially connected to ACTRIS-EU as a French National Facility for the long-term observation of aerosols by solar/lunar photometry, lidar (CARS), and in situ techniques (ECAC).

Figure: Average daily concentrations in the submicron fraction of different chemical species (organic aerosols, sulphate, nitrate, ammonium and non-marine chloride) measured by the ACSM on the ATOLL platform between the end of 2016 and the end of 2021

The IMT Nord Europe Energy and Environment CERI continuously deploys instruments on the platform which enable the following:

  1. Physical and chemical characterisation of atmospheric particles via optical counting (FIDAS200; PM1, PM2.5 and PM10 mass concentrations), mass spectrometry (Q-ACSM; major species: organic, nitrate, sulphate, ammonium, non-marine chloride) and multi-wavelength absorption spectrophotometry (AE33; soot carbon);
  2. Gas analysers (SO2, CO, CO2, CH4) are particularly useful for monitoring theflyby of volcanic plumes, in connection with the VOLCPLUME portal directed by LOA.


Labex CaPPA (ANR-11-LABX-0005)

Climibio State-Region Plan Contract (CPER)

LCSQA (CARA Program)


Labex CaPPA

Labex CaPPA

Labex CaPPA

Laboratory of Excellence on “Chemical and Physical Properties of Aerosols” (Labex CaPPA) The CaPPA laboratory of excellence won the second wave of the “Laboratories of Excellence” call for projects (2012) of the French Investments for the Future Program (PIA). It…

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