AIDA: description and transnational access
The large aerosol and cloud simulation facility AIDA (Aerosols Interaction and Dynamics in the Atmosphere) in Karlsruhe is a tool for investigating physical and chemical aerosol processes which have strong impacts on atmospheric chemistry, new particle formation, cloud microphysics, and aerosol-climate interactions. A unique feature is the large range of accessible temperatures from 183 K to 323 K together with operation at reduced pressure and a comprehensive set of trace gas, aerosol and cloud instrumentation. Thus, aerosol and cloud experiments can be carried out in the full range of tropospheric and stratospheric temperatures and pressures. Ice and water supersaturated conditions are accessible via controlled pumping expansion cycles. Furthermore, the chamber can be evacuated for cleaning and pre-conditioning purposes Access to AIDA is supported by Transnational Access of Euochamp-2.
2. Description of the research facility
The AIDA facility comprises the large 84.5 m3 volume aluminium aerosol and cloud simulation chamber AIDA and the 3.9 m3 volume stainless steel aerosol preparation and characterisation chamber NAUA, both in the same building and connected to each other. The AIDA chamber can be operated at variable pressure (0.01 to 1000 hPa), temperature (+50°C to -90°C), and humidity conditions, including supersaturations with respect to ice and liquid water. Its capabilities to simulate upper tropospheric/lower stratospheric conditions and to generate supersaturations in a large volume are unique in Europe. The AIDA facility is equipped with an extensive suite of state of the art instruments, both commercial and custom built (http://www.imk-aaf.kit.edu/304.php). It provides an excellent infrastructure in terms of optical, physical and other instrumentation to carry out, together with external partners, comprehensive studies of aerosol processes, and to evaluate their impact on air quality and climate on various scales. Research areas normally supported at the ADIA facility include investigation and modelling of aerosol dynamics, aerosol optical properties, aerosol chemistry, and aerosol-cloud interactions. This includes studies of tropospheric, stratospheric, and mesospheric clouds under both static and dynamic expansion conditions. Analysis of the AIDA experiments is supported with the AIDA database and the aerosol models which are continuously improved and extended.
2.1. Technical data
Main part of the AIDA chamber is an evacuable aluminium cylinder located inside a temperature controlled housing. The air inside the housing is cools or heats the vessel with 3-4 K/h to temperatures between 183 and 323 K. Under static conditions the temperature gradients are less than ±0.3 K over the whole cylinder. The vacuum system allows evacuating the chamber within ~90 minutes to 1 Pa final pressure.
A detailed list of publications is provided here.
2.4. Access to the chamber under Eurochamp TA
The AIDA facility is accessible, e.g. for joint research projects or measurement campaigns. Suggestions for new research topics/experiments are welcome. Access to AIDA is supported through EUROCHAMP-2 Transnational Access (TA) and other collaborations. Please contact us find the appropriate setup for new projects at AIDA.
Usually users access the AIDA facility with their instruments for a joint measurement campaign of 2-4 weeks duration. The results will be discussed at workshops, presented at conferences, and published in peer reviewed journals. Co-authorship should be offered to all AIDA team members and external partners contributing significant amount of data and scientific work to the respective paper. The planning and scheduling of the measurement campaigns is done about a year in advance of the activity by discussing scientific goals and technical details with the participants. For this purpose planning workshops will be organised. New users of the facility may also suggest major research topics and organise respective planning workshops. Final decisions about the research topics addressed and the scheduling of campaigns are made by the AIDA team.
AIDA offers access for various types of instruments. These instruments can be placed either inside the vacuum chamber, inside the thermostated housing, or on 4 platform levels surrounding the chamber housing. See Fahey et al. (2009) for an example of how the instruments can be connect to AIDA for an instrument intercomparison. Typically stainless steel tubes ranging into the chamber are used for sampling. Modifications of inlet lines or flanges can be provided on request.
3. Institution in charge of the laboratory facility
The Atmospheric Aerosol Research Department (IMK-AAF) is one of four departments of the Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK) of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany. KIT is a University of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg in Germany and a National Research Center of the Helmholtz Association (HGF). The head of the Atmospheric Aerosol Research Department, Prof. Thomas Leisner, is also Professor at the Institute of Environmental Physics at the University of Heidelberg.
3.1. Contact Information
Dr. Harald Saathoff, phone: +49 721 608 22897
Dr. Ottmar Möhler, phone: +49 721 608 24287Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK)
Atmospheric Aerosol Research Division (AAF)
76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany
4. Additional Information