at the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB):

Dr. Tijl Verhoelst (Project Coordinator, Lead Scientist)

Dr. Ir. Jean-Christopher Lambert (Lead Scientist)

Dr. Steven Compernolle (Project Scientist)


at the Belgian Interregional Environment Agency (IRCEL-CELINE):

MSc. Frans Fierens (Administrative Director)

MSc. Charlotte Vanpoucke (Project Scientist)


About BIRA-IASB: BIRA-IASB, the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy is a Belgian Federal Scientific Institution performing scientific research and providing services related to the atmosphere of Earth and that of other (terrestrial) planets. While work originally focused on the upper layer of the atmosphere, the scope has broadened significantly over the past decades and now includes a strong expertise in the observation and modelling of the troposphere as well. Part of BIRA-IASB’s mission is to exploit synergies between different observing systems for atmospheric composition, in the context of ozone loss, climate  change, and air quality. A key activity in this regard is the validation of satellite data sets by comparison to ground-based reference measurements. As one of many different validation responsibilities for ESA, EUMETSAT and the Copernicus programme, BIRA-IASB leads the validation activities of the S5p Mission Performance Centre, which includes the data products to be used in the LEGO-BEL-AQ project. Moreover, the specific challenges addressed in this project, such as the horizontal resolution of satellite observations and how it is affected by large viewing and solar angles, and the diurnal cycle of NOx and related species in the lower atmosphere, have been the topic of earlier projects lead or co-lead by BIRA-IASB (H2020 GAIA-CLIM, BELSPO-ProDEX AcroSAT, FP6 GEOmon, FP7 QA4ECV,…)


About IRCEL-CELINE: The Belgian Interregional Environment Agency (IRCEL-CELINE) is a permanent interregional cooperation between the Belgian Regions founded in 1994, involving collaboration on the management of the monitoring networks and enforcing a common scientific basis for collecting, processing and reporting air quality data. The agency is fully financed by the three Belgian regions and staff members are detached by the regional environmental institutes, Agence wallonne de l'Air et du Climat (AWAC) for Wallonia, the Flemish Environment Agency (VMM) for Flanders and Environment Brussels (BIM-IBGE) for the Brussels Capital Region. Among other tasks, the agency runs an interregional calibration laboratory, an interregional air quality database and an interregional data processing centre (IDPC). In the IDPC air quality data collected in the regional networks are acquired in “real-time”, evaluated and published online: IRCEL-CELINE informs the regional, the federal authorities and the public on and during episodes of enhanced air pollution (SMOG episodes), e.g. informing or alerting the public when the ozone or NO2 EU information/alert thresholds are exceeded, activating the “SMOG90” measure (speed limits on highways) during winter smog episodes. IRCEL-CELINE compiles the transmissions of all Belgian air quality and emission data to international platforms such as EEA, WHO, OECD, EU, UNFCCC, EMEP-CLRTAP, EUROSTAT, European commission, … Staff members of IRCEL-CELINE are national experts in different European Air Quality expert groups (e.g. the Air Quality Committee, FAIRMODE, AQUILA, EMEP TFMM, …).