Objectives/Vision of the ARFI Project

Aerosol Radiative Forcing over India (ARFI), Integrated Campaign for Aerosols, gases and Radiation Budget (ICARB) & Regional Aerosol Warming EXperiment (RAWEX) hold the three facets of the Aerosols and Radiative Forcing projects of SPL, being implemented under the ISRO-GBP.

These projects aim at evolving accurate regional aerosol characterization, incorporating the heterogeneity in space, time and spectral domains, for periodical and accurate estimates of Aerosol Radiative Forcing over India and to assess the impacts on regional and global climate.




  • ARFI involves continuous measurements using the network (ARFINET) of aerosol observatories. ICARB involves multi-platform thematic field experiments addressing to specific problems pertinent to ARFI. RAWEX envisages to quantifying the climate implications of the atmospheric warming produced by the absorbing aerosols through a synergy of observations and modelling.
  • From a very modest beginning in 1985, to accurately characterizing aerosol using an in-house built Multi Wavelength solar Radiometer (MWR) operating from a few stations following a common protocol, the experiment grew steadily in size and objectives to become a national project with more than 42 observatories at present.
  • These projects have immensely contributed to scientific capacity building, inter-institutional collaborations, collective thinking and team spirit, that has taken these projects to the front-line and has opened up new research topics; all under a common umbrella.
  • The scientific contributions of ARFI, ICARB & RAWEX are being increasingly recognized at the national and international levels across the institutions and several inimitable publications have emerged in front-line, peer-reviewed, impact factor journals, while several of them have been cited in the fifth assessment report of the IPCC for presenting the prevailing scenario over Asia as well as to assess the impacts.


         Major Objectives of these projects are the following:

  • Development of a primary aerosol database over the Indian subcontinent and adjoining oceans by establishing and operating a network of aerosol observatories and conducting thematic field campaigns   
  • Estimation of regional aerosol radiative forcing using ARFINET database   
  • Assimilation of ARFINET database with regional climate models for the assessment of potential climate impacts   
  • Quantification of the climate implications of the elevated atmospheric warming by absorbing aerosols   
  • Implications of long-term trend in aerosol loading on regional climate over Indian region   
  • Assessment of the effect of absorbing aerosols through aerosol-cryosphere-atmosphere interactions   
  • Investigations on Aerosol-Cloud interaction and indirect radiative forcing of aerosols   
  • To understand the processes of new particle formation in different environments   
  • Development of satellite payloads for accurate estimation of aerosol properties from space