USRL Research Projects

2019 (-2026). Coordination of the Creation of a Strategic Centre of Excellence for National, Regional and International Research and Innovation in Climate & Atmosphere. The funds won are more than €45Million, through the co-funding of €15 Million by the European Commission Horizon 2020 Teaming Programme, plus the co-funding of €15 Million by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus, plus more than €15Million of Private Donations, Investments and Own Contribution. The facilities, infrastructure and instrumentation of USRL are incorporated and fully supported by “EMME-CARE: Eastern Mediterranean Middle East – Climate & Atmosphere Research” Centre of Excellence, thus fully securing operations and sustainability.

2020-(2023) ACTRIS-IMP, High-quality data to lift atmospheric processes: Different atmospheric processes are considered responsible for many challenges having societal and environmental impacts. Air pollution, public health, sustainability and climate change represent key issues for a wide range of institutions in the public and private sectors. The EU-funded ACTRIS IMP project promotes a pan-European research infrastructure, the Aerosol, Clouds and Trace Gases Research Infrastructure (ACTRIS), that produces high-quality data and information on temporary atmospheric components and the processes provoking the variability of these constituents in both natural and controlled atmospheres. Established more than 20 years ago, ACTRIS provides significant information for understanding atmospheric procedures and bio-geochemical relations between atmosphere and environments. ACTRIS IMP aims at a new knowledge that will create the structures for actions on national and EU levels. Funding: €111K

2020 – (2022) SHIELD (SAFEGUARD HERITAGE IN ENDANGERED LOOTED DISTRICTS). JPICH Conservation and Protection Call. JPICH-0085. SHIELD Project aims at designing and building an artificially intelligent Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) to patrol looted archaeological and heritage sites using the latest technologies in imaging techniques, live data streaming, decentralized (onboard) processing, Machine Learning, and flight data management. Funding: € 565K

2019 – (2021) INVISIBLE HERITAGE – ANALYSIS AND TECHNOLOGY (IH-AT) project Research & Innovation Foundation, EXCELLENCE/0918/0144. The IH-AT project aims to design and develop an innovative portal comprised of reliable and efficient technology-ready tools for the visualization, documentation and analysis of the UNESCO listed churches in the Troodos area. The project aims at applying Non-Destructive-Techniques (NDT), geophysics, Aerial and terrestrial 3D modelling and visualization methods, supported by art-historical and archaeological research, to investigate a cluster of selected churches in Cyprus. The main aims are to preserve by way of record the existing structural remains and to identify lost and invisible features as well as assess the conservation conditions of their structures. Funding: € 150K

2020 – (2022). Participation to “LynkEUs” project coordinated by MBDA (, for the European Defence Industrial Development Programme’s Call EDIDP-NGPSC-2019 on “European Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) anti-tank capabilities”, based on relevant PESCO signed by France, Belgium, Cyprus. Funding: € 3.5M

2018 – (2021) AQ-SERVE (Air-Quality Services for a cleaner air in Cyprus), Research & Innovation Foundation (INTEGRATED/0916/0016). The project will combine innovative technical developments with new scientific knowledge on the characterization and prediction of air quality in order to provide the first-ever evaluation of the health impact and risk assessment of air pollution in Cyprus. Funding: € 1M

2019-(2022). “Portal for heritage buildings integration into the contemporary built environment” project Research & Innovation Foundation INTEGRATED/0609/0918. PERIsCOPE aims to design and develop an innovative platform for the identification, classification, documentation and renovation of heritage buildings which can be exploited by a variety of stakeholders related to the conservation and retrofit activities. Total Funding: € 1.1M

2019 – (2021) Coordination of the Research Innovation Foundation project “CURE-3AB: Cooperation to Unravel the Role of Atmospheric Aerosol over the Amazonian Basin”, which is carried out with the Max Planck Institute of Germany and the University of Sao Paolo of Brazil. Funding: €80K

2015 – 2018. Participation in activities of the European Commission Horizon 2020 Project “VI-SEEM: Virtual Research Environment in Southeast Europe and Eastern Mediterranean” ( for 3D terrain and buildings reconstructions, as well as the capabilities for creation of virtual (training) environments. Funding: € 3.3M

(2020 – 2023) Assessment of Climate Change Effects on Pollution Transport in Cyprus (ACCEPT): The overall objective of ACCEPT is to provide new scientific knowledge on air pollution that is not currently available in Cyprus, with the expected positive impact of implementing efficient abatement strategies, improving air quality, and reducing human exposure. More specifically, ACCEPT engages the competent Governmental Authorities in charge of environmental monitoring and compliance with (inter)national directives and agreements (DoE, DoM, DLI), so that they will translate the results obtained through the project. Funding: 850K

2015 – 2019 ACTRIS-2: Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research InfraStructure, European Project supported by the European Commission Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Framework Programme (H2020-INFRAIA-2014-2015). The ACTRIS-2 Integrating Activities (IA) addresses the scope of integrating state-of-the-art European ground-based stations for long-term observations of aerosols, clouds and short lived gases. It consolidates and improves services offered within FP7 funded Integrated Infrastructures Initiative ACTRIS (2011-2015). ACTRIS-2 takes up the overarching objectives of ACTRIS to further integrate the European ground-based stations and to construct a user-oriented RI, unique in the EU-RI landscape, for aerosols, clouds, and short-lived gas-phase species. Funding: € 9.5K

2013 – 2017 BACCHUS (FP7) is a European FP7 collaborative project under the lead of ETH Zurich, Switzerland. In the years 2013 to 2017, 21 research institutions from the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, and Israel work closely together to better understand key processes in aerosol-cloud interactions.
BACCHUS is one of three individual research projects building the research cluster “Aerosols and Climate”that the EU initiated, recognising the importance of improving climate predications to develop sustainable policies for Europe. Funding: €10k

2009 – 2013, APAESO (Autonomous Flying Platforms for Atmospheric and Earth Surface Observations). Objective: The creation of the required infrastructure for carrying out atmospheric and Earth-surface observations using Unmanned Aerial Systems. RPF Infrastructure Project 2009-2013, (ΝΕΑ ΥΠΟΔΟΜΗ/ΝΕΚΥΠ/0308/09), Funding: €1M

USRL Campaigns, Field Demonstrations and Other Activities

Products and Service provision to University of Crete: 2020, PanTend is a Tender under the contract Νο 15 «Purchase of Equipment», Action «Πανελλαδική Υποδομή για τη μελέτη της ατμοσφαιρικής σύστασης και κλιματικής αλλαγής (ΠΑΝΑΚΕΙΑ)-MIS 5021516, Infrastructure for the study of atmospheric composition and climate change, PANACEA», Greek program “Competitiveness Entrepreneurship and Innovation 2014-2020”. Funding: € 30K

Participation to ASKOS Project which is Cal/Val experiment organized by the National Observatory of Athens (NOA), aiming to assess the quality of the aerosol and cloud products of Aeolus. It will take place at the São Vicente island of Cape Verde during summer of 2020 (postponed for summer 2021). Funded by the European Space Agency, NOA, CyI and others.

2018 – (current). Technological Development for Department of Forests (DoF), via MoU and Agreement, for Forest-Fires Early-Warning by means of tailor-made UAS for monitoring and operational surveillance. The Forest Surveyor (FS), a lightweight and cost-effective fixed-wing aircraft was tailored-made for surveillance (of forests), aerial cartography (for forest-fire assessment), risk mapping (for forest-fire), post-fire management, and enhancement of operational safety of fire-fighting personnel through situational awareness. Also, a very fast and agile, Small Quad-Rotor UAS was customized for rapid on-the-spot inspections of difficult-to-access areas through real-time video. These two UAS were utilized in the Operational Exercise “Ήφαιστος 2019for post-fire monitoring identification of rekindled fires through various environmental sensors, as well as real-time video by visual and thermal cameras.

Participation in Operational Exercise “Εγκέλαδος 2018” of the Civil Defence Search-&-Rescue. An agile, mini quad rotor UAS customized by USRL for emergency response operations was utilized to inspect a two-floors building with collapse-risk after an earthquake. Four separate apartments were inspected by the UAS in less than two minutes. The exact location and the condition of two victims was identified and sent to the rescuers through real-time video. The valuable elements of this project are those corresponding to urban warfare conditions, rapid inspection of building interiors and surroundings, as well as operational safety of personnel as per their location and condition.

2017 – Services to the Cyprus Committee of Missing Persons. Cyprus 2017, UAS of USRL provide high-security flights and 3D terrain reconstructions for optimizing search in mass grave locations.

2017 – Participation in the AQABA Mediterranean and Arabian Basin Campaign, coordinated by the Max Planck Institute of Chemistry. This operational campaign lasted 2.5 months, it started from Toulon France and went to Kuwait, and then back, therefore covering Mediterranean, Read Sea, Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean, with experiments and flights all along the way. USRL utilized a customized UAS with environmental sensors and with cameras. The developed fixed-wing UAS was hand-launched, and with capacities to ascend/descend to/from 2.5 km ASL, continuously adjusting position as per the moving mothership sea-vessel, as well as returning and landing (at net) on the moving ship. The valuable elements for this project are the ones corresponding to flight patterns, surveillance capacity in a variety of operational environments.