The beginning of measurements at the Košetice Observatory dates back to 1985, when some measurements were carried out in temporary premises near the current observatory. After the completion of the construction of the observatory buildings (year 1988) in the current area, all measurements were moved to one location.
The station was built to add a regional station to the network of the Czech hydrometeorological institute which will be equipped with technology that meets the requirements of the GEMS (Global Environment Monitoring System). The station’s measurement program at the time was focused on a wide range of environmental components. It included the monitoring of plant and animal components, air quality and rainfall, surface water quality and, last but not least, the measurement and observation of meteorological parameters.
The Košetice Observatory is a station representing the background level of air pollution and thus has been involved in the EMEP programme since 1988. (Cooperative Program for Monitoring and Evaluation of the Long-Range Transmission of Air Pollution in Europe, Crossing National Borders) to which other European stations of a similar type contribute their results. This program was created on the basis of the Convention on the Long-Range Transport of Pollution (CLRTAP), which responded to scientific findings about the manifestations of air pollution that resulted in environmental damage (e.g. acid rain, fish kills, withering of bird eggshells).
In the following years, the Košetice Observatory was gradually involved in other programs and projects. In 1989, we joined the ICP IM Integrated Monitoring Program, which was also established under the LRTAP Convention and aims to monitor the effects of air pollution on ecosystems. In 1991, we became part of the measurement network of the Global atmosphere watch Global atmosphere watch (GAW), program, which focused mainly on the state of the ozone layer and substances that damage this layer. We contribute to this program with our results in the regional station category. The GAW program is operated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the observatory is also a member of this organization. As part of professional meteorological station measurements, all measurements are carried out according to WMO regulations and requirements. The Košetice observatory is maintained as WMO station number 11628.
Participation in the GEMS program was terminated and the measurement activities of the Košetice Observatory began to focus more on air quality, precipitation quality and meteorological measurements and observations. In 1992, measurements were started as part of automatic immission monitoring (AIM). The measurement of individual components of air quality and precipitation continued to expand according to the demands of international programs and the resulting obligations. . The transition to automatic measurement of meteorological elements with human service was completed in 2001. The instrumentation is gradually modernized and the highest quality technology is always used.
During its history, the station was involved in other projects that focused on the role of aerosol particles in the atmosphere and on cloud formation (the EUSAAR project Network of European “Superstations” for Atmospheric Aerosol Research and ACTRIS). Participation in this project required the expansion of the measurement program to include other components of the atmosphere, specifically measuring the properties of aerosol particles. The station was equipped with this technology in cooperation with the Institute of Chemical Processes of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. The uniqueness of the location helped further cooperation with the Institute of Global Change Research of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, and a 250 m high atmospheric mast was built near the station (completed in 2013). On the occasion of the completion of the construction of the mast, a memorandum of cooperation was signed between four institutions that carry out research in or near the observatory. The result of the memorandum and other work was the creation of the Czech part of the large research infrastructure project ACTRIS-CZ (under the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports leadership).
For the background station, it is especially necessary to acquire instruments with the lowest possible detection limits, in order to be able to measure low concentrations of various components of the atmosphere. The strict system of maintaining quality is fulfilled within the framework of the State Immission Monitoring Network according to the requirements of the ČNS EN ISO/IEC 17025:2018 standard and also according to EU directives and the requirements of international programs and projects.
The Košetice observatory is a modern station with a high degree of equipment, both in terms of technology and personnel.