Virtual Poster Exhibition

The Irish Atmospheric Simulation Chamber: a national facility for atmospheric sciences

Lead Institution: University College Cork

Contact Details


The ability to predict the future behaviour of the atmosphere over time scales from minutes to decades is highly beneficial to society and the economy. Examples include short-term public warnings of hazardous air quality and the long-term evaluation of climate change and policy effectiveness. Atmospheric predictions use complex models that are based on observations and a sound understanding of the underlying processes and interactions between atmospheric components and their environment.
To enable the study of fundamental atmospheric processes and to quantify parameters needed in air quality and climate models, the Irish Atmospheric Simulation Chamber (IASC) was established in the Center for Research into Atmospheric Chemistry at UCC, with the support of Science Foundation Ireland. This national research infrastructure contains a custom-built chamber (~27 m^3) made of FEP teflon foil, supported in an aluminium frame, and surrounded by a temperature-controlled enclosure containing 140 UV lamps for light-driven experiments. The facility is equipped with a comprehensive range of instruments for continuous, online measurements of trace gases (NOx, O3) and particles (aerosol), including a state-of-the-art chemical ionization mass spectrometer for monitoring volatile organic compounds. At its core, however, is a selection of several unique ultra-sensitive multi-component (NO2, NO3, HONO, glyoxal, H2O, CO2) optical detector systems, which are based on cutting-edge cavity-enhanced absorption methodologies developed in Cork. With this suite of instrumentation the IASC is capable of deriving much needed information and parameters to constrain predictive atmospheric models and improve forecasts. The current capabilities of IASC will be showcased in the poster.