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Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy

Simply listing the problems associated with the ozone layer, the greenhouse effect, the propagation of radio waves in the ionosphere or the magnetic storms that affect telecommunications, is enough to demonstrate the importance of knowing and understanding all the phenomena observed in the upper atmosphere and the terrestrial environment.

In recent years, the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB ) has gained international recognition with its scientific study of the Earth’s atmosphere and those of the other planets, as well as its study of how the sun affects our environment. The BIRA-IASB, which plays a central role in the study of global climate change, attempts to provide the answers to our society’s questions on the condition of our atmosphere.

In this framework the BIRA-IASB is involved in many international projects based on the study of planetary atmospheres, such as Venus express, Mars express, Solspec (observation of solar radiation) or the interplanetary observation Cluster 2 (interaction of magnetosphere and solar wind).

The BIRA-IASB has the task of studying the upper layers of the terrestrial atmosphere. Aeronomy, a typically multidisciplinary science which was officially recognised as a field of science by the scientific authorities in 1954, has really taken off with the arrival of artificial satellites and the development of new techniques for observation from space.

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