by Doina Nicolae

The 1st Initial Training for atmospheric Remote Sensing - ITARS Summer School took place at the Romanian Atmospheric Research 3D Observatory - RADO Site during September 23 - October 4, 2013. During this Summer School 23 teachers and experts from 10 countries (UK, Germany, USA, Italy, Serbia, Greece, France, Netherland, Romania, Spain) and 26 students from 11 countries (Spain, Italy, Germany, UK, Netherland, Greece, Romania, Serbia, Hong Kong, Finland, Canada) were invited. This Summer School was primarily designated to young researchers to improve their theoretical and practical skills regarding aerosol remote sensing.

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Interactive Lectures

ITaRS community and external experts were in charge with interactive lectures dedicated for this Summer School providing fundamental knowledge on atmospheric remote sensing. Courses were covering a broad approach from "Weather and Climate" to "Aerosol microphysics" and "Algorithms in data inversions" within 12 lectures.

Beside atmospheric remote sensing lectures, a dedicated course for personal development (science communication & presentation skills) was done by an external specialist. This was one of the most appreciated interactive classes and the students requested more lectures on this subject for the next summer schools.

Laboratory training

An intensive measurement campaign using active, passive and in-situ instruments (lidar, sun photometer, microwave radiometer, aerosol mass spectrometer and other in-situ instruments) was organized. PhD students were split into 5 groups focused on different topics as follows:

Each group had a dedicated measurements program from September 25th to October 1st including calibration of instruments and intercomparison of data. The students had to asses different atmospheric conditions in terms of boundary layer dynamics, transport, pollution and cloud formation. Beside measurements, they had also to process and analyze the data for a project report related to each theme.

Beside interactive lectures and measurements, PhD students also participated to instrument demonstrations moderated by the industrial partners:

  • Calibration of the microwave radiometer by Domenico Cimini (CNR IMAA, Italy) and Harald Czekala (Radiometer Physics GmbH, Germany);
  • Multiwavelength Raman Lidar by George Georgoussis (Raymetrics, Greece);
  • Moon Photometer by Marius Canini (CIMEL Electronique, France).

This Summer School provided the opportunity for the PhD students to get hands-on experience for a variety of instruments and also for all participants to interact and expand their knowledge in atmospheric sciences.


Another important component during this Summer School was the outreach activities. Filming, interview and videos training were used for the students to make their own video projects focused on science dissemination for public. The videos are posted both on ITARS website and YouTube. A Science Day was also organized dedicated to high-school students from International School of Bucharest.


Several recreational activities were planned during this intensive Summer School. They involved visits to Bucharest museums (National History Museum, National Village Museum), a trip to Peles and Dracula's Castle, Welcome Party (Ice Break Cocktail and poster discussions) and dinner in Bucharest. Also the students and scientists had the opportunity to visit Bucharest city center and enjoy free time activities.