CIRAS (CNR Isac Rome Atmospheric Observatory)

The experimental research activities of ISAC in Rome, make use of measurements acquired from heterogeneous instrumentation located mainly in the CIRAS observatory (CNR Isac Rome Atmospheric obServatory), at the CNR Research Area in Rome Tor Vergata ( The instrumentation in CIRAS is used for the study of different atmospheric processes and for the operational analysis of satellite data in a distributed observatory which is unique in Italy.

Some CIRAS instruments are included in national and international networks. Through agreements and collaborations with other entities, ISAC hosts third party instrumentation at CIRAS, providing logistics and support for its operation.

ISAC also manages and operates instrumentation in sites other than CIRAS located throughout Italy.

CIRAS include instrumentation for:


  • Remote sensing: solar fotometer CIMEL and PREDE, solar radiometer; Lidar-Ceilometers.
  • In situ SMPS (Scanning Mobility Particle Sampler); APS (Aerodynamic Particle Sizer); OPC (Optical particles counter); Nefelometer; Etalometer. Some of the above listed instruments can operate on board of the ISAC Aerolab mobile vehicle, as well.



  • Meteorological and micro-meteorological instrumentations intended for open field comparison calibration of 2 and 3 component sonic anemometers, pyranometers, pyrgeometers.

CIRAS also hosts:

  • two atmospheric lightning sensors of the European LINET network and the global TOA network.
  • a single frequency GNSS receiver from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering "Sapienza" University of Rome for the estimation of precipitated water vapour.
  • a laser disdrometer by ARPA Piemonte for microphysical measurements of precipitation.
  • an X-band radar of the company Himet srl. for the active remote sensing of precipitation.
  • a "Pandora" solar spectrometer of the BAQUNIN network for the measurement of gas in the atmosphere.
  • a CL31 ceilometer of INAIL for the measurement of the cloud base and the profiling of atmospheric particulate matter.
  • the AL001 station of the Arpa Lazio micrometeorological network.

ISAC contributes with its own instruments:

  • to the urban experimental site BAQUNIN ( at the Department of Physics of the "Sapienza" University of Rome with measurements of optical and physical characteristics of aerosol from photometers
  • to measurements of some Arpa-Lazio monitoring sites (e.g. Roma-Boncompagni and Frosinone) with observations of vertical distribution and in situ optical properties of particulate matter
  • to the sites of the national network ALICENET ((, coordinated by ISAC, with measurements of the vertical distribution of particulate matter (h24, 7days/7 days).
  • to the sites of the international ESR/SKYNET network (, coordinated by ISAC, with continuous diurnal columnar measurements of atmospheric aerosols
  • to the monitoring sites of the ASTI regional network (, distributed in the metropolitan area of Rome with measures related to the development and impact of the urban heat island.

ISAC has built with his own instrumentation:

  • a new measurement centre for the monitoring of meteorological and micrometeorological parameters in the coastal area at the Torrevaldaliga Nord (Civitavecchia, Rome) power plant.