The Site instrumental de recherche par télédétection (Sirta), an infrastructure supported by the Pierre-Simon Laplace Institute, the result of the collaboration between the CNRS, the École Polytechnique and the Île-de-France Region, was inaugurated on Friday 17 September 2021. This instrumental site, dedicated to research and teaching, will also be open to the general public who will be able to discover climate and environmental sciences through educational actions. This real estate project received support from the Société du Grand Paris, the Fondation de l'École Polytechnique, EDF R&D and the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.
This atmospheric research observatory is a national experimental site dedicated to climate and environmental research. It is one of the few sites in Europe offering the instrumentation, facilities, and reception capacities necessary to study atmospheric physico-chemical processes, from the surface to the top of the troposphere, via the boundary layer, to better understand climate feedbacks at regional and decennial scales, evaluate atmospheric models (climate, weather, chemistry-transport) and validate spatial observations.
With the aim of supporting scientific research in the field of climatology, Sirta's new equipment will make it possible to better understand, anticipate and predict heat waves and pollution peaks as well as to find innovative solutions for renewable electricity production. They will thus strengthen the construction of the European research infrastructure Actris (aerosol, clouds and trace gases research infrastructure), of which Sirta is a major component.
Sirta brings together research and experimental teaching carried out by laboratories in the Ile-de-France region in the fields of instrumentation and atmospheric measurements. It is a reference tool at European and international level and represents a database of several dozen atmospheric variables recorded over nearly 20 years.
Founded in 1999 at the initiative of the Pierre-Simon Laplace Institute (IPSL1),and formerly housed in the Laboratory of Dynamic Meteorology (LMD2),Sirta now extends over a 2.5 ha plot located north of the lake on the École Polytechnique campus. The new infrastructure includes a dedicated and emblematic observatory building of 600 m 2 with an instrumental roof terrace of 450 m².
This new development has made it possible to sanctify a natural area of about forty hectares around the observatory, essential for the quality and representativeness of the measures. The new infrastructure provides a sustainable framework to accommodate the historical instrumentation of the observatory and allows the installation of new high-tech measuring instruments (50 m mast, lidar, wind turbines, solar panels, etc.).
Accessible to all, the site will also inform the general public through visits, conferences and debates.
This project received the support of the Société du Grand Paris, EDF R&D, the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ) and the Fondation de l'École Polytechnique, thanks to the mobilization of the former students of the X 1977 class who organized a specific fundraiser to finance this new observatory and Daniel Rigny (X 1989), Great donor of the X.
Sirta key figures:
- Creation in 1999, more than 20 years of research and experimental teaching,
- 150 instruments,
- 18 member laboratories,
- 1,000 interventions per year,
- 750 students per year,
- More than 320 scientific publications since 1999,
- 60 measurement campaigns and instrumental tests,
- 16 TB of data,
- 15 million files,
- 7 million hours of high-quality recorded data,
- 80 data streams and approximately,
- 600 files per day,
- 18 scientific workshops.
1 Federation of eight research laboratories in the Paris region (CNRS/École Polytechnique/Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ)/CEA/Sorbonne Université/IRD/École des ponts ParisTech/Université Paris Saclay).
2 École Polytechnique/CNRS/ENS Paris/Sorbonne University.