The MAGIC2022 campaign

The MAGIC2022 campaign will take in place in France, in the vicinity of Reims (Grand Est region), from 10th to 21st October 2022. The main objective of the campaign is to study anthropogenic emissions of CO2 and CH4 from this mid-sized European city as well as from nearby methanizers and industrial sites. A second objective is to validate weighted columns of greenhouse gases retrieved from spaceborne observations (OCO-2, Sentinel-5P, IASI) in this particular environment. An international consortium of about 50 scientists will operate a battery of instruments deployed on the ground and aboard dozens of balloons, as well as onboard two research aircrafts.

This campaign is funded by CNES and CNRS and hosted by GSMA. Team supports also include University of Reims-Champagne Ardennes, as well as Ecole polytechnique, Sorbonne Université, CEA, Universities of Lille and Orléans, and NASA/JPL.

Lead scientist is Dr. Cyril Crevoisier (CNRS/LMD). Local host is Dr. Lilian Joly (CNRS/GSMA).

Scientific objectives

Cities cover a very small part (<1%) of the world’s surface area, but account for 67-76% of global energy-related CO2 emissions. Moreover, half of the world’s population lives in cities, a share that will probably reach 70% by 2050. Understanding emissions from cities is therefore a priority objective to improve our knowledge of global anthropogenic emissions and to implement local actions to fight against climate change.

The ability to conduct accurate inventories of city emissions at multiple geographic levels is essential for local actors to understand the magnitude of urban emissions and to assess the relative contribution of different factors to overall emissions in order to identify opportunities for mitigation, develop a comprehensive « climate » action plan, and implement long-term measurement programs.

One of the objectives of space missions dedicated to greenhouse gases is precisely to participate in the global observation network of greenhouse gases and in particular of anthropogenic emissions. It is thus of the upmost importance to evaluate the capacity of these space missions to observe signatures of anthropogenic, and in particular urban, emissions by measuring weighted columns over the entire atmospheric column.

The main objective of the MAGIC2022 campaign will be to study the possibility of determining the anthropogenic emissions of a representative medium-sized European city, Reims, and nearby methanizers and industrial sites, from column-weighted measurements of CO2 and CH4, by deploying a wide range of instruments covering various space and time scales, combining ground, airborne and space-based observations. The campaign will shed light on the capabilities of current (OCO-2, Sentinel-5P) and future (CO2M, MicroCarb, Sentinel-5) space missions to capture these emissions. The measurements will also provide information on the spatio-temporal variability of gases at the scale of a city and thus on the expected heterogeneity within the measurement pixels of these missions.

The location

The medium-sized city chosen for the MAGIC2022 campaign is the city of Reims. Indeed, this city of the Grand-Est region offers several advantages:

  • By its surface area (47.02 km2), its population (182,211 inhabitants for the city, 211,812 for the agglomeration) and its industry, Reims is representative of European medium-sized cities.
  • The region is sufficiently large and with little hilly terrain to be well represented in the dispersion models.
  • Reims offers a sufficient number of suitable locations to set up the numerous instruments planned, including various sites of the University of Reims-Champagne-Ardennes.
  • The Grand-Est region hosts a large number of methanizers.
  • Finally, the research infrastructure developed in the framework of the AEROLAB project (AtmosphEric Research and Observations LABoratory) led by Lilian Joly (GSMA) will allow us to benefit from many ground-based and airborne facilities.

The instruments

About 40 instruments are deployed during MAGIC2022 two week-campaign:

  • 50 light balloons (BLD type) will be launched from the MDH site of URCA, carrying a diversity of sensors measuring 0-30 km profiles of gas concentrations, temperature and wind, as well as aerosol counters.
  • Two research aircrafts are joining the campaign for more than 30 hours of scientific flight: SAFIRE Piper and Gerfaut ULM-type aircraft. Coordinated flights are organized to take advantage of the full suite of instruments onboard the planes.
  • ground-based measurements will include: mobile Fourrier Transform Spectrometers operating in the infrared, a 50m tower located at URCA, aerosol lidar and photometer, and a mobile station.

Measurement strategy include raster patterns above the cities of Reims, Epernay and Châlon-en-Champagne, circles around the cities, up-wind and down-wind measurements, as well as long range flights to nearby methanizers and industrial sites.

Measurement strategy around Reims to capture anthropogenic emissions of the city
The MAGIC2022 suite of platforms and instruments: SAFIRE Piper-Aztec; Gerfaut ULM-type aircraft; AirCore under light balloon; AeroLab/GSMA@URCA campus; MDH-Reims ICOS 50-m tower; GSMA EM27/SUN [(c) SAFIRE/CNRS, 2022; L. Joly/GSMA, 2022; C. Crevoisier/CNRS, 2021; B. Gouriez, 2021]

The team

All together, the campaign involves 11 teams from 4 countries:

  • LMD (CNRS, Ecole polytechnique, Sorbonne Université, ENS)
  • GSMA (CNRS, Université de Reims-Champagne Ardennes)
  • LERMA (CNRS, Sorbonne Université)
  • LOA (CNRS, Université de Lille)
  • LPC2E (CNRS, Université d’Orléans)
  • SAFIRE (CNRS, Météo-France, CNES)
  • CNES
  • University of Leicester (UK)
  • KIT (Germany)
  • NASA (USA)

Campaign logbook

Friday 7 October

First operational meeting is organized. A last check on instruments availability is made. All teams are ready. It is a GO for the MAGIC2022 campaign, with the first tentative balloon flights scheduled for Monday 10 October.

10 AirCore from LMD/IPSL ready for launch during the MAGIC2022 campaign (c) C. Crevoisier, 2022

Sunday 9 October

LERMA and LMD teams have arrived in Reims and are warmly welcomed by the GSMA team. The sunny day has allowed for a full day of measurement for 2 EM27/SUN outside GSMA buildings.

2 EM27/SUN from GSMA and KIT making measurements outside of GSMA building on a very sunny day (c) C. Crevoisier, 2022

GSMA and LMD teams have prepared the analysis chain for AirCores by warming up two G2401 Picarro analyzers. All is ready for Monday!

Installation of AirCore and its analysis chain in the « AirCore Room » at GSMA (c) C. Crevoisier, 2022

Monday 10 October

Weather is not as good as forecasted, with quite a lot of clouds that will limit satellite observation. Moreover, balloon trajectories indicate landing in heavily forested areas. It is therefore decided to cancel morning flights.

Weather forecast with Metop-C trajectory (purple) and balloon trajectory from Reims (black) (c) CNRS, 2022

It is an opportuity for the teams to finalize intrustement readiness.

Checking the surface pressure sonde used with EM27/SUN spectrometers near the ICOS tower (seen in the back), while several instruments are waiting to be launched and analyzed (c) CNRS, 2022

All teams have safely arrived in Reims. Everybody is ready to start the measurements on Tuesday, with quite a good weather forecast.

Tuesday 11 October

Blue sky, no cloud, a small North-East wind: it is a GO for the first measurements.

The objective of the day: Catching anthropogenic plumes from Reims/Epernay/Chalons, while performing co-locations with 3 satellites Metop-B, Metop-C and Sentinel-5P.

At 8:00 UTC (10:00 LT), the first AirCore from LMD is launched by GSMA team. After a flight of 2 hours, its landing happened in a pasture field, while the IASI instrument onboard both Metop-B and Metop-C was passing over Reims at 10:17 and 9:30 respectively.

At 10:30 UTC, a second AirCore was launched. But no luck this time… Two hours later, it ‘landed’ in a tree, 30m high. Recovery team had to call a tree-prummer to get it back. This was an opportunity for them to discover the nice town of Varennes, famous for being where Louis XVI has been arrested while trying to escape. Weather was very nice.

The team is ready for the AirCore recovery… and that was a good idea to come prepared since it landed at 30m in a tree!
The nice town of Varennes where the team waited for the tree-prummer to come help recover the AirCore… under a bright sun.

Finally, at 11:45 UTC, an Amulse from GSMA was launched. After a quiet flight, it quietly landed in a pastery field and brougth back to the lab… well in advance compared to the second AirCore!

But there was not such a sunny day everywhere! In the vicinity of Reims, after a nice morning, clouds started to appear and the sky ended by being fully overcast, stopping the measurements made by the 4 EM27/SUN that were deployed in 4 locations: GSMA, La Croix Rouge, Base 112 and in a pasture field near Champfleury. The sun reappared in the afternoon, allowing for a few more precious hours of acquisition.

Finally, this day saw the first combined flight between both aircrafts: SAFIRE Piper-Aztec and Gerfaut ULM-type aircraft, both stationned at Prunay airport.

SAFIRE Piper-Aztec readu for its first flight under a cloudy sky.

The flight objective was to catch the antropogenic plumes from Reims, Epernay and Chalons. To reach this objective, their repesctive flights have been carefully elaborated with both pilots. South-West transects, perpendicular to the North-East wind, have been realized at 4 altitudes: 300m and 500m for Gerfaut, and 700m and 1500m for SAFIRE. These transects were made North-East of Reims, South-West of Reims and either South-West of Epernay (SAFIRE) or South-West of Chalons (Gerfaut). This allowed to catch the anthropogenic plume from Bazancourt as well as from the 3 cities.

CO2 plumes of Bazancourt, Reims, Epernay anc Châlons measured simultaneously by both aircrafts: SAFIRE Piper (700 and 1500 m) and Gerfaut (300 and 500 m).

Overall, a very satisfying day of measurements! The analysis of the last AirCore finally ended at 10:00 (LT) and it was time to call it a day! The team is ready for another day of measurements with very promising weather forecasts.

To be continued…


To come…