by Stefanos Samaras

stefanos cimel

I spent the past two weeks (16-28 March) in France, where I was seconded for training related to my topic. My stay there fulfilled the purpose of exploring both practical and theoretical aspects of the sun photometer and the synergy with lidars.

The first week of my stay was dedicated to CIMEL company in Paris. This was a good opportunity to see a different environment, other than the educational institutes I am used to, i.e. the world of Industry. It was really interesting to speak with people involved in several projects and explore how all this knowledge – the “know how” as they say – unravels to practically produce very advanced machines; I was actually shown what is inside a sun photometer, part of its assemblage, and a bit of the work of software engineering regarding its settings (graphical environment and measurement scenarios). Second, I was given the chance for some hands-on training (mounting, setting, measuring) in the latest sun photometer model, which is not yet commercially available! At the same time I realized the huge potential of these passive instruments regarding aerosol classification and their contribution for the microphysical properties which is the link to my work. Moreover, I was shown one of CIMEL latest projects on micro-lidars, which is an ongoing work and targets to improve portability and eye safety for lidar community.

The second part of my stay was in Laboratoire d’ Optique Atmospherique (LOA) in Lille. I had the opportunity to meet Oleg Dubovik, the man, whose microphysical retrieval code is used by AERONET, and interact with him and his group. They introduced me to their current work involving an advanced software (GRASP), for microphysics , in which they employ complementary information from lidars, sun/sky radiometers and satellites, and their ultimate plan is to extend it for more general use in the future. Having a better understanding in the instrument (sun photometer) from the previous week in CIMEL, I could focus there on theoretical stuff and be provided with some literature for further studying by Mr Dubovik.

I would like to acknowledge Stephane Victori for suggesting the content of this secondment and help me plan it and the director of CIMEL, Didier Crozel for accepting me there. A huge thanks to Marius Canini for spending much of his time not only trying to explain me everything but also for his really warm and friendly presence as well as his co-workers, Mohamad Alikhan, Richard Mathieu, Fiona Krikorian, Nicolas Pugniet, and Bahy Damiri for introducing me into their work and sharing interesting discussions. Many thanks to Oleg Dubovik and his research group for hosting me in LOA university and stimulating some ideas about my work.

Paris and Lille are magnificent places to visit. I highly recommend them to everyone!