Atmospheric simulation chambers are among the most advanced tools for investigating the atmospheric processes to derive physico-chemical parameters which are required for air quality and climate models. Recently, the ICARE-CNRS at Orléans (France) has set up a new large outdoor simulation chamber, HELIOS.
HELIOS is one of the most advanced and one of the largest outdoor chambers in Europe and is especially suited to processes studies performed under realistic atmospheric conditions. HELIOS is positioned on the top of ICARE-CNRS building at Orléans (47°50’18.39N; 1°56’40.03E). The chamber is made of FEP film ensuring more than 90 % solar light transmission. The chamber is protected against severe meteorological conditions by a moveable “box” which contains a series of Xenon lamps enabling to conduct experiments using artificial light. This special design makes HELIOS a unique platform where experiments can be made using both types of irradiations. HELIOS is dedicated mainly to the investigation of the chemical processes under different conditions (sunlight, artificial light and dark). The platform allows conducting the same type of experiments under both natural and artificial light irradiation. The available large range of complementary and highly sensitive instruments enables investigating the radical chemistry, gas phase processes and aerosol formation under realistic atmospheric conditions.