Climate research project to collect atmospheric data notches up 20 years and 41,000 Airbus flights
(photo: Air France)
Tue 27 May 2014 – The MOZAIC/IAGOS collaboration project between the aviation industry and climate scientists to collect atmospheric data from instruments carried by Airbus aircraft on commercial flights has reached its 20th anniversary. Seven Airbus aircraft – six A340-300s and an A330 – belonging to the project’s associated airlines Lufthansa, China Airlines, Air France, Iberia, Cathay Pacific and Air Namibia have now been equipped with measurement devices. Since the first Airbus A340 journey from Caracas to Bogota in 1994, over 41,000 flights have been used to collect data. Launched in 1993, MOZAIC (Measurement of Ozone by Airbus In-service Aircraft) evolved towards a European Research Infrastructure called IAGOS-DS (In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System) in 2005 and then IAGOS-ERI in 2011.
The scientific data collected, including near real-time data provision for weather prediction, climate and air quality forecasting, are verified and added to the MOZAIC/IAGOS database, with free access given to international scientific and policy-making communities. The measurement devices capture key information needed for research, such as aircraft parameters – date/hour, geo-localisation, wind direction and speed, temperature and pressure – and atmospheric data such as concentrations in ozone, water vapour and carbon monoxide.
“There is today no atmospheric or climate model which does not use the huge MOZAIC and IAGOS database to adjust results,” said Rainer Von Wrede, Head of Environment for Engineering and Research & Technology at Airbus. “Thanks to our participation and the strong partnerships with airlines, laboratories and institutes, the scientific community has a much better understanding of the atmosphere and climate change.”