• Energy and Environment

Atmospheric optics laboratory (LOA)

Research unit - UMR 8518


Our laboratory studies various components of the atmosphere, mainly clouds, aerosols which are fine particles of anthropic or natural origin (desert dust, biomass fires, marine, urban and volcanic aerosols) and some gases (ozone, water vapor, sulfur dioxide). LOA brings together complementary observational and modeling expertise to determine: (i) the spatio-temporal distribution of aerosols, clouds and their gaseous precursors; (ii) their micro-physical (size, shape), chemical, hygroscopic, optical and radiative properties; and (iii) their impact on the atmosphere and atmospheric radiation.
With a strong background in atmospheric radiative transfer modeling and measurement inversion methods, our unit has internationally recognized expertise in spaceborne, ground-based and airborne remote sensing. Our expertise covers a wide spectral range, from ultraviolet and solar to thermal infrared and millimeter waves. The laboratory is also involved in the development of measurement instruments, deployed on the ground or onboard aircraft to serve as space prototypes. In addition, the LOA has developed an instrumental platform on the roof of the laboratory that allows for continuous measurement of atmospheric composition using a wide range of ground-based remote sensing instruments and in-situ measurements.


  • Philippe Dubuisson


Bâtiment P5, Avenue Jean Perrin
Campus Cité scientifique, Université de Lille


Atmospheric optics laboratory


Effectif total : 72

Personnel de recherche : 33

Personnel d'appui à la recherche : 22



• Aerosol properties and their radiative impact on climate
•Aerosol variability and trends
• Aerosol cycles
• Pollution and extreme events related to aerosols
• Climate effects of clouds and water vapor
• Cloud systems and their structures
• Radiative transfer and optical properties of atmospheric particles
• Observation of the atmosphere by remote sensing and inversion methods

Example(s) of projects

• Study of the evolution of environments and climate, analysis of the impacts of these evolutions on biodiversity, air quality, health, society, perspectives and strategies of adaptation to these changes (CPER CLIMIBIO)
• Probing and vertical characterization of cloudy atmospheres using passive satellite measurements

Example(s) of publications

• Moussallam, Y., Médard, E., Georgeais, G., F. Rose-Koga, E., T. Koga, K., Pelletier, B., Bani, P., L. Shreve, T., Grandin, R., Boichu, M., Tari, D. & Peters, N. (2021). How to turn off a lava lake? A petrological investigation of the 2018 intra-caldera and submarine eruptions of Ambrym volcano. Bulletin of Volcanology, 83(36) 🡭
• Shreve, T., Grandin, R., Smittarello, D., Cayol, V., Pinel, V., Boichu, M. & Morishita, Y. (2021). What Triggers Caldera Ring-Fault Subsidence at Ambrym Volcano? Insights From the 2015 Dike Intrusion and Eruption. J. of Geophys. Res.: Solid Earth, 126(6), e2020JB020277 🡭
• Torres, B. & Fuertes, D. (2021). Characterization of aerosol size properties from measurements of spectral optical depth: a global validation of the GRASP-AOD code using long-term AERONET data. Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14(6), 4471-4506 🡭
• Crumeyrolle, S., Mensah, A., Khlystov, A., Kos, G. & ten Brink, H. (2021). On the importance of nitrate for the droplet concentration in stratocumulus in the North-Sea region. Atmos. Env., 252(118278) 🡭
• Hioki, S., Riedi, J. & Djellali, M. S. (2021). A study of polarimetric error induced by satellite motion: application to the 3MI and similar sensors. Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14(3), 1801-1816 🡭

Discover the full list of publications here.

Collaborations/Partners/Scientific clients

CNES, AERIS/ICARE, IRD, IPEV, ATMO-NPDC, Météo France, Mines de Douai , ULCO, Université de Clermont-Ferrand, Sorbonne université, LISA, LATMOS, LAERO, LACY

NASA, ESA, EUMETSAT, MetOffice (GB), Météo Espagne, etc.

Services offers

Applications sectors

  • Science / Research

Services provided

• Observation and modeling of the spatio-temporal distribution of aerosols, clouds and their gaseous precursors
• Determination of micro-physical (size, shape), chemical, hygroscopic, optical and radiative properties
• Modeling of radiative transfer in the atmosphere
• Continuous measurement of atmospheric composition
• Remote sensing from space and from the ground and inversion of measurements
• Development of measuring instruments, deployed on the ground or embarked on aircraft

Consulting services

We provide consulting services related to all our areas of expertise.


We possess a wide range of research equipment: Fluxmeters, Pyranometers, IRT Radiometer, Spectroradiometers, solar photometer, inertial navigation system, climatic chamber...


Affiliated institutions / organisations



Doctoral schools

Regional strategic areas of activity

  • Energy and Environment
    • Observation, monitoring and management of the environment