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Research and public service in the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere of the Earth and other planets, and of outer space.

On Friday, April 13, 2018, the Danish ASIM experiment was installed on the outside of the European Columbus module of the ISS International Space Station. The instrument gives us insight into the luminous phenomena that take place over violent thunderstorms. The Belgian B.USOC is responsible for the infrastructure and operations of ASIM.

Two years after its launch, ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) finally settles in its final orbit around Mars. The satellite, which carries the instrument NOMAD of the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) on board, has just completed one year of atmospheric deceleration and is now circling around Mars every 2 hours, some 400 km above the Martian surface.
The precise measurement of the solar spectrum outside the atmosphere and its variability are fundamental inputs for solar physics (Sun modeling), terrestrial atmospheric photochemistry and the Earth's climate (climate 's modeling).

Formic acid contributes significantly to acid rain in remote environments. Direct sources of formic acid include human activities, biomass burning and plant leaves. Aside from these direct sources, sunlight-induced oxidation of non-methane hydrocarbons (largely of biogenic origin) is probably the largest source.

When trying to promote gender equality, it is important to take a look at the position of women in leadership positions. Our institute consists of 1 scientific programme (B.USOC) and 5 scientific divisions (the Scientific directorate and 4 departments: Space physics, Sources & sinks of atmospheric constituents, Atmospheric reactive gases, Solar radiation in atmospheres). Each of these departments unite 3 of 4 research groups adding up to a total of 14.

Recognition of the expertise of BIRA-IASB scientists is expressed through staff representation on international programme committees, scientific advisory committees, evaluation panels and expert groups.

BIRA- IASB is also a partner in, and even coordinator of, many international projects. For example, BIRA-IASB had a total of 78 ongoing projects in 2019 and 79 in 2020. The Contract Management department, a two-person team, is responsible for the financial, contractual and administrative management of all these projects, in consultation with the scientific leaders, of course.