IAGOS - short for "In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System", has been running for around 30 years with the long-term support of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Devices on board commercial aircraft around the globe measure long-lived carbon dioxide, as well as short-lived greenhouse gases such as ozone, water vapor and methane, and the reactive trace gases carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides.
After each flight, the recorded measurement data is automatically transmitted to the central database of the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) research center in Toulouse. They are freely and openly accessible for global research and are currently used by around 300 organizations worldwide. The data help researchers to gain new insights into the development of the climate and the composition of the atmosphere and to determine long-term changes, to make climate models more precise and to improve weather forecasts.
Currently, a total of ten aircraft at six airlines worldwide are equipped with the IAGOS system.