Long-term aerosol measurements on various platforms

Our research group performs long-term studies of atmospheric aerosols at ground-based stations, aboard ships, and using civil aircraft.

The objective of these investigations is a better understanding of climate-relevant sources and transformation processes of tropospheric aerosol particles.

The interpretation of long-term data requires the maintenance of quality criteria for the measurements over long time periods. We therefore also develop and use state-of-the-art instrumentation to collect long-term data of high quality.

  • High-altitude site Chacaltaya (Bolivia).

  • Street canyon in Leipzig.

  • Lufthansa Airbus A340-600.

Worldwide aerosol measurements

Our workgroup is involved in long-term observations of physical and optical aerosol properties worldwide. We carry out such measurements at some of our own TROPOS research sites, but also at many other sites hosted by scientific partners and public service institutions.

One focus area is the research site "Melpitz" near the city of Torgau (Melpitz research site). This site can be regarded as representative for the tropospheric aerosol over Central Europe. Melpitz hosts various measurements and observations within the framework of "Global Atmosphere Watch" (GAW), the "Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace Gases Research Infrastructure Network" (ACTRIS) and the "German Ultrafine Aerosol Network" (GUAN).

A total of four observation sitesare maintained in our home city of Leipzig, mostly in cooperation with the Saxon State Office for Environment, Agriculture and Geology (LfULG, Dresden) to analyse long-term trends in ultrafine urban particles and black carbon (Leipzig Low Emission Zone).

Major efforts of our in-situ measurements also go into the "Cape Verde Atmospheric Observatory" (CVAO), within SOPRAN und GAW, the regional GAW-Station Shangdianzi in the North China Plain, and into the global GAW-Messstation "Chacaltaya" (5240 m) in the Bolivian Andes.

Aircraft measurements: IAGOS - CARIBIC

For a better understanding of higher altitude aerosol processes, we employ civil aircraft for long-term aerosol measurements. These flights take place mostly at 8-12 km altitude within the framework of European infrastructure (IAGOS-CARIBIC). The measurement platform is a regular passenger aircraft (Airbus A340-600) of Deutsche Lufthansa.