Within CATCOS, Empa was responsible for the implementation of greenhouse gas observation capabilities in Vietnam, Chile and Kyrgyzstan & associated twinning / support. Other activities covered the implementation of aerosol measurement capabilities in Vietnam, Chile, Kenya and Indonesia (by Paul Scherrer Institut) and the monitoring of glaciers in Kyrgyzstan, Ecuador and Colombia as part of the terrestrial component of the project (implemented by University of Fribourg and University of Zurich). As well, capacity building and training in air pollution monitoring was performed in Bolivia (in collaboration with the Red MoniCA/Aire Limpio project).
The equipment in Vietnam was implemented in collaboration with the Vietnamese National Hydro-Meteorological Service (NHMS) at the Pha Din climate station (21.57degN, 103.52degE, 1466m asl), a rural site in a hilly forested area in Northern Vietnam. Also at Pha Din the implementation was jointly performed with PSI staff that implemented observations of aerosol optical properties. The Pha Din station is the first of its kind recording greenhouse gases, surface ozone and aerosol properties in a rural setting in Viet Nam. The installations took place in February 2014. No atmospheric composition observations had been running there operationally before. In July 2014, the Cholpon Ata station was accepted by the World Meteorological Organization as a regional Global Atmosphere Watch station.
In August 2016, the Empa team installed a further station in Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan (42.63685°N, 77.0675°E). Cholpon-Ata is located at 1613 meters asl., around 200 km in the East of the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek. In the vicinity, there is a city with 12'000 inhabitants. In the south, the station is surrounded by a large lake (Lake Issyk-Kul, over around 120° azimuth), while mountains with peaks up to 4300 m high restrict the horizon in the north (over around 140° azimuth). Due to diurnal winds, relatively clean air will be measured during the low season in spring and autumn. No atmospheric composition observations had been running there before. In 2021, the Cholpon Ata station was accepted by the World Meteorological Organization as a regional Global Atmosphere Watch station.
Remote access to the computers running at the sites enables regular data transfer to Empa and to the headquarters of the local partners and conveniently allows trouble shooting and advice in case of malfunctions. Measured data can be visualized in near-real-time all over the world (see link on the right).
GAWSIS (GAW Station Information System)