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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.

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

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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