Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere: (Head: Prof. Niklaus Kämpfer) Our research activities cover two main areas. In the more technological field we are developing millimeter and sub-millimeter wave radiometer systems for ground-based and airborne applications in order to detect the weak radiation from the emission of atmospheric trace gases.In this context we develop new quasioptical componenets and systems. On the other hand, strong efforts are made in the field of the geophysical validation and interpretation of the obtained altitude distribution of constituents retrieved from the measured spectra. Our present research is mainly concerned with ozone, chlorine monoxyde and water vapor in the middle atmosphere.
Radiometric Methods for Environmental Monitoring: (Head: Prof. Christian Mätzler) We study the propagation, backscattering and emission of electromagnetic radiation in the troposphere and at the surface of the earth for remote sensing of water vapor, clouds, aerosols, ozone and the snowcover. While microwave radiometry is the key tool, other techniques (transmission and scatter measurements, sun photometry, GPS, and dielectric measurements of natural media) are complementary. Emphasis is also put on the development and improvement of instruments. Our main test site is in Bern, where we are setting up a reference station for water-vapor measurements. In addition, data from surface-based networks (CHARM, AGNES) in Switzerland and remote sensing data from satellites are used in our analysis. With this work we contribute to the development and validation of remote sensing methods for environmental monitoring.
Radiometry of Solar Flares: (Head: PD. Dr. Andreas Magun) Our research concerns three important aspects of solar flare physics: the energy release by fragmentation, the propagation of energy in the lower corona and its interaction with the coronal and chromospheric plasma. The latter leads to electromagnetic radiation that can be observed by our instruments from microwave to submm wavelengths. This covers the emission from the chromosphere to the lower corona. Our main goal is to build new instrumentation and to observe and understand flare related emission.