STAR logo


Support for Tropical Atmospheric Research


Principal Investigator: Gé  Verver



Paramaribo station, located on the premises of the Meteorological Service of Surinam (MDS). From left to
right: hut for filling balloons, instrument containers, instrument platform on top of MDS building.



The STAR project (Support for Tropical Atmospheric Research) is approved for funding under the Sixth Framework Programme of the European Union for Global Change and Ecosystems. The general objective of the STAR project is to support the European contribution to international observation systems, and to support international cooperation in setting up these observation systems in the tropics. More specific, the main objectives of this project are:

- to integrate European efforts for monitoring in the tropics. The Paramaribo Observatory will host a number of research groups, either for a short periods, or for executing a long-term observation programme. The collocation of the instruments provides a synergy of the measurements that will improve the interpretation and retrieval of the observations,
- to provide the European atmospheric research community with facilities for tropical atmospheric research. The infrastructure of the observatory will be upgraded in order to host research groups and their instruments. The renewed infrastructure will provide the flexibility to install and operate additional instruments on a campaign basis or for extended periods,
- to promote co-operation between South American and European partners in order to ensure the future execution of the long-term observational programme as well as to raise public awareness for climate change issues in this part of the world. In order to achieve this, an exchange programme for students and staff of the Anton de Kom University and the other partners of the STAR project will be established,
- to promote the construction of long, homogenized time series of climate and other global change parameters in the tropics. As a pilot for this objective it is proposed to retrieve historical observational data on the tropical atmosphere in Suriname, and to make these available to the atmospheric research community,
- to support pilot studies of new observational techniques applied to the tropical atmosphere, in order to design an optimal observation programme that provides reliable high quality data.

STAR is a joint effort of European, Surinam and Japanese research groups to establish and maintain a shared atmospheric observatory in Paramaribo, Surinam. Paramaribo is the capital city of Surinam and lies on the northern coast of South America, at 5.8N and 55.2W. Paramaribo station is located on the premises of the Meteorological Service of Surinam (MDS) in the south-western outskirts of the city, and has been operational since 1999.

A Pilot Study, aimed at testing the suitability of a Fourier Transform InfraRed spectrometer (FTIR, from Bremen University) and a Raman backscatter lidar (from AWI Bremerhaven) for long term deployment in the tropics, forms an integral part of STAR.

The STAR project ended in September 2006


European Commission official:
Riccardo Casale
Scientific Officer