The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is Germany´s national research centre for aeronautics and space. Its extensive research and development work in Aeronautics, Space, Energy, Transport and Security is integrated into national and international cooperative ventures. As Germany´s space agency, DLR has been given responsibility for the forward planning and the implementation of the German space programme by the German federal government as well as for the international representation of German interests. Furthermore, Germany’s largest project-management agency is also part of DLR.
Approximately 6,700 people are employed at thirteen locations in Germany: Cologne (headquarters), Berlin, Bonn, Braunschweig, Bremen, Goettingen, Hamburg, Lampoldshausen, Neustrelitz, Oberpfaffenhofen, Stuttgart, Trauen, and Weilheim. DLR also operates offices in Brussels, Paris, and Washington D.C.
The listed DLR institutes are actively involved at the UFS.
NDMC is a global program with the mission to promote international cooperation among research groups investigating the mesopause region (80-100 km) with the goal of early identification of changing climate signals. This program involves the coordinated study of atmospheric variability at all time scales, the exchange of existing know-how, and the coordinated development of improved observation, analysis techniques and modeling. The initial emphasis is on mesopause region airglow techniques utilizing the existing ground-based and satellite measurement capabilities. NDMC is coordinated by DLR-DFD in cooperation with the UFS.
The GRIPS (Ground-based Infrared P-branch Spectrometer) instrument routinely measures the temperature in ~87 km altitude with high temporal resolution and precision. The temperatures are used for an early identification of changing climate signals and for the detection of atmospheric gravity waves and infrasound. The latter ones are generated – besides others – by storm systems, volcanic activity or even tsunamis and may be used for the rapid detection of natural hazards. Therefore, a deeper understanding of the propagation of these signals through the atmosphere is needed which is modelled using the HARPA/DLR model.
Storm systems are one of the most destructive natural disaster phenomena. It is still difficult to predict their intensity and track on timescales larger than some hours. The focus of CESAR is to improve the forecast by characterizing the change of the energy content of a storm system. It is well-known, that storm systems generate gravity waves and infrasound. During CESAR it is investigated whether monitoring these wave signatures by remote sensing and in-situ techniques allows the quantification of the changing energy content of the underlying storm system.
Gravity waves transport energy and momentum about large distances significantly affecting the atmosphere. Appropriate consideration of these wave phenomena in climate models is essential for the precision of model results. Due to their small scales, gravity waves are treated in a rather simplified way in current models. The basis for an adequate representation is knowledge about their physical parameters (wave length, period, etc.) – preferred with global coverage which can only be provided by satellites. However, satellites mostly integrate over a relative large air volume. This leads to smoothing of the small-scaled gravity wave signatures. This effect is analysed during the project ‘BHEA’ in cooperation with the university Tromsø, Norway. The German part is funded by BayStMUG (Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Public Health).
The LMU-DLR cooperation project “Health information service for COPD and asthma for Bavaria” aims at the provision of risk-information for patients suffering from chronic pulmonary diseases. Relevant environmental and medical data sets are analysed in order to quantify the effect of environmental factors on patients’ well-being. This knowledge allows the provision of easily understandable information about health risks to the general public. Moreover this projects targets at providing warnings in case of predicted (up to three days in advance) environmental situations, which are unfavourable for the patients’ health.
The UFS-DAZ offers scientists optimal access to in-situ and satellite-based measurements, atmospheric models and user specific data analysis tools. The UFS-DAZ provides primarily scientists a quick, comfortable, tailored and secured access to the measurements of the station. Through the connection with the data analysis center of other stations, the observatory will additionally get access too to other ground-based measurements. Furthermore, the DAZ offers scientists comfortable access to satellite based data, non-satellite based data (e.g. from ground-based networks such as NDMC etc.), value added data and information (e.g. atmospheric dynamics activity or global ozone distribution), services (e.g. air quality forecasts), atmospheric models (e.g. trajectory models or 3D-Chemistry Transport Models), and user specific data analysis tools (e.g. Web Mapping Tools). As an additional service, a dedicated show room will be available at the station in order to provide the scientists an attractive presentation environment and the access to specific information for example about the current global, continental and regional state of the atmosphere through the connection with WDC-RSAT or about the current position of relevant satellites.
A self-supporting concept for the establishment of a national point of contact on the UFS for the coordination of validation activities of satellite-based measurements in the atmosphere is worked out. Therefore, the user requirements for data and information are investigated, traditional validation concepts are analysed, and general deficits are identified. Novel validation approaches are developed. The project ‘SatVal-A’ is supported with funds from BMWT (German Federal Ministry for Economy and Technology). It is carried out in cooperation with DLR and KIT.
Mittels der multi-axialen differentiellen optischen Absorptionsspektroskopie (MAX-DOAS) können in der UFS sowohl wichtige stratosphärische Absorber, als auch troposphärische Spurengase gemessen werden, wie zum Beispiel Ozon, NO2, SO2, Formaldehyd, HONO und Aerosole. Die DOAS-Messungen in der UFS liefern somit wertvolle Informationen über die Luftqualität und atmosphärischen Prozesse in den nördlichen mittleren Breiten. Das MAX-DOAS Instrument wurde am Institut für Umweltphysik der Universität Heidelberg entwickelt und wird in Zusammenarbeit mit dem DLR-IMF betrieben.
Bei der Entstehung von Niederschlag in den mittleren Breiten spielt die Eisphase eine entscheidende Rolle. Jedoch existieren zu der vielfältige Form von Eis und Schnee sowie der Größenverteilung von Eispartikeln nur wenige Messungen. Moderne Messgeräte zur insitu Beobachtung von Niederschlagsteilchen sowie aktive und passive Fernerkundungsmesssysteme mit Mikrowellen am Schneefernerhaus können hier einen wertvollen Beitrag zum Verständnis der Niederschlagsentstehung sowie zur Validierung von Satellitenmessungen liefern.