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Camera Observation and Modelling of 4D Tracer Dispersion in the Atmosphere

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 COMTESSA project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the COMTESSA project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "COMTESSA" about.

extensively    so2    sensitive    revise    underlying    resolved    sensitivity    infrared    altitudes    dimensional    simultaneous    push    full    fast    line    radiative    optical    ground    lagrangian    sight    sources    puff    code    atmospheric    images    hz    dioxide    dispersion    model    nearly    gt    phenomena    retrievals    comtessa    ir    radiation    plants    near    back    fumaroles    special    lt    quantify    uv    atmosphere    obukhov    absolute    estimate    flow    sulfur    constant    space    richardson    probability    concentration    releases    vision    er    six    pdf    eddy    vector    accuracy    tomographic    density    smelters    passive    3d    yielding    deepen    parameterizations    instance    data    time    cameras    velocity    turbulent    transfer    volcanic    observations    reconstruction    improvements    first    tower    les    plume    sampling    function    resolution    relative    tracer    ultraviolet    campaign    limits    multiple    models    2d    turbulence    made    transport    power   

Project "COMTESSA" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 2027

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Norway [NO]
 Project website
 Total cost 2˙800˙000 €
 EC max contribution 2˙800˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-11-01   to  2020-10-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

COMTESSA will push back the limits of our understanding of turbulence and plume dispersion in the atmosphere by bringing together full four-dimensional (space and time) observations of a (nearly) passive tracer (sulfur dioxide, SO2), with advanced data analysis and turbulence and dispersion modelling.

Observations will be made with six cameras sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and three cameras sensitive to infrared (IR) radiation. The UV cameras will be built specifically for this project where high sensitivity and fast sampling is important. The accuracy of UV and IR retrievals will be improved by using a state-of-the art-3D radiative transfer model.

Controlled puff and plume releases of SO2 will be made from a tower, which will be observed by all cameras, yielding multiple 2D images of SO2 integrated along the line of sight. The simultaneous observations will allow - for the first time - a tomographic reconstruction of the 3D tracer concentration distribution at high space (< 1 m) and time (>10 Hz) resolution. An optical flow code will be used to determine the eddy-resolved velocity vector field of the plume. Special turbulent phenomena (e.g. plume rise) will be studied using existing SO2 sources (e.g. smelters, power plants, volcanic fumaroles).

Analysis of the novel campaign observations will deepen our understanding of turbulence and tracer dispersion in the atmosphere. For instance, for the first time we will be able to extensively measure the concentration probability density function (PDF) in a plume not only near the ground but also at high-er altitudes; quantify relative and absolute dispersion; estimate the value of the Richardson-Obukhov constant, etc. We will also use the data to evaluate state-of-the-art LES and Lagrangian dispersion models and revise their underlying parameterizations.

COMTESSA’s vision is that the project results will lead to large improvements of tracer transport in all atmospheric models.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Anna Solvejg Dinger, Kerstin Stebel, Massimo Cassiani, Hamidreza Ardeshiri, Cirilo Bernardo, Arve Kylling, Soon-Young Park, Ignacio Pisso, Norbert Schmidbauer, Jan Wasseng, Andreas Stohl
Observation of turbulent dispersion of artificially released SO<sub>2</sub> puffs with UV cameras
published pages: 6169-6188, ISSN: 1867-8548, DOI: 10.5194/amt-11-6169-2018
Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 11/11 2019-04-18

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The information about "COMTESSA" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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